Indian module manufacturer Waaree Energies has raised INR10 billion (US$120 million) from investors to expand its module production capacity in India as well as developing new solar cell capabilities.
Announced today, the funding was acquired from private investors from high net-worth individuals and private offices, Waaree said in a statement.
The money will be used to increase its module manufacturing capacity in India from 2GW to 9GW, of which 5GW is operational and the remaining 4GW is expected to be operational by January 2023.
“We aim to further our manufacturing capacity and expand our offerings and ensure increased employment opportunities,” said Hitesh Mehta, director & CFO, Waaree Energies. “We have been bullish about creating economically viable and easy to adopt solutions for our buyers.”
The company is also planning for backward integration in the manufacturing of solar cells with a capacity of 5.4GW, although it did not disclose any further details on this. PV Tech has sought clarification.
The announcement comes close on the heels of India releasing the new rules of its Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, designed to develop greater domestic PV production and slash the country’s reliance on imports.
The scheme intends to add 65GW of manufacturing capacity of fully and partially integrated solar PV modules, which will bring direct investments of nearly INR940 billion (US$11.59 billion), according to India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). You can read the precise details of the new system here.
Operating in tandem with the PLI is India’s basic customs duty (BCD) on solar cells and modules which is the second prong in the country’s strategy to develop a domestic PV production base.
Since April 2022, all government utility-scale solar projects were mandated to use only companies on its approved list of module manufacturers (ALMM), which has recently been expanded to include 18GW of capacity and 66 different entities registered, according to consultancy JMK Research & Analytics.
Waaree said it was “the lone manufacturer in India” approved by ALMM for high-wattage panels – i.e. 650W along with 600W and 540W from its manufacturing facilities.
In August, Waaree struck another deal with China-based PV module assembly equipment specialist Yingkou Jinchen Machinery for a 2.5GW high-efficiency module production line in a continuation of the companies’ business relationship.
In January last year, Jinchen signed a contract with Waaree to supply a 3GW production line for the manufacturer’s facility in Mumbai, where it will be used to produce Waaree’s high-efficiency solar modules.
And, back in April, Waaree landed a multi-year supply agreement with CubicPV, a merger between US-based wafer producer 1366 Technologies and Hunt Perovskite Technologies (HPT), under which Waaree will receive 1GW of silicon cells per year from CubicPV’s Indian factory.