Norwegian manufacturer REC is supplying 25,720 of its ‘Peak Energy Series’ solar panels to a 6.5MW commercial self-consumption project in India.
The company said it regarded so-called captive or self-consumption solar projects as key business opportunity in the growing Indian market due to their independence from government incentives.
The panels will supply a ground-mounted tracker system in Andhra Pradesh on the south-eastern coast of India. The project will produce approximately 12,289,500 kWh per year to power the production of Eenadu – the largest circulated newspaper published in the local Telagu language, owned by multimedia company Ramoji Group.
The plant is to be built by Photon Energy Systems and is expected to be complete by September 2013.
General manager at Eenadu newspapers, G. Rajendra Babu, said: “To be more independent, we decided to invest in solar energy. With increasing electricity costs on the one hand and the intermittent energy supply on the other, we can save a lot of money by using the energy produced by the solar installation itself and at the same time fulfil our corporate environmental policy.”
Shailendra Mohan Bebortha, managing director of REC India, said: “We see self-consumption as a key business model for solar in India because it doesn’t depend on incentive schemes, has no restrictions on system sizes, has low level of bureaucracy and makes industrial customers independent from fluctuations in energy prices.”
Gautham Nalamada, CEO at Photon hopes the plant will generate “one of the highest energy per Wp in India.”
REC said it expected to carry out further projects in Andhra Pradesh, describing at as a “promising market”.
Although at 16% it has the highest power deficit of any Indian state, it also has a solar irradiation rate of 1,900W/metre squared. The state’s 2012 solar policy has set a target of 1GW, with an emphasis on off-grid and self-consumption projects.