Vikram Solar is to bolster its solar manufacturing capacity with a new 3GW wafer, cell and module facility in Tamil Nadu.
The manufacturer, amongst India’s top upstream solar producers, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Tamil Nadu to develop the facility over the next five years.
Although Vikram did not attach any financial value to the expansion, it’s said Vikram will invest as much as INR54 billion (US$726 million) in the project.
Once complete, it will significantly increase Vikram’s production capacity, essentially trebling its output from 1.2GW today.
The announcement comes just as JMK Research & Analytics’ annual India Solar Report Card for the 2019/20 financial year gave Vikram a 6.1% share of India’s domestic module supply market, ranking them sixth behind Trina, Znshine, Adani, Risen and Waaree.
A statement issued by Vikram said the announcement fell in line with the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat philosophy encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modhi, advocating for a self-reliant India.
The news comes less than a week after Indian renewables project developer ReNew Power announced its intent to expand vertically with the development of a 2GW cell and module manufacturing plant in India.
Upstream expansions in India are ramping up just as the country prepares to expand the use of customs duties on solar imports designed specifically to stimulate India’s manufacturing sector.
While parliamentarians in India intend to increase duties to up to 40% next year, domestic manufacturers have urged for even greater protections from imports, saying duties of at least 50% are required.
PV Tech head of research Finlay Colville spoke to Ivan Saha, chief technology officer at Vikram Solar, last April ahead of Solar Media’s IndiaTech 2019 conference. You can read the full interview here.