Interview: Honey Raza

Honey Raza,
Head – Sales India at Ginlong (Solis) Technologies
 

“We are Targeting Over 600-800MW in India Next Year”

We are targeting more than 600-800MW in India next year. This includes balanced product spread across residential, C&I and Utility segments. Our new advanced state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will also be ready by Feb – Mar, this will further fillip our shipments. With this new facility the total annual capacity will reach more than 20+GWs annually, says Honey Raza, Head – Sales India, Ginlong (Solis) Technologies, in an exclusive conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Energetica India. Raza also shared about his company’s latest product offerings, investment & expansion plans etc. Here’re the edited excerpts

“Shed some light on Ginlong Solis latest product offerings for Indian customers.”

We are now catering to each and every segment of the solar market. For the Grid tied segment we have the biggest and most versatile product which is having many advantages like best fit for the installation capacity as well as for the sanctioned load restricted with tenders.

For C&I products latest addition is 80-136k which is the most sorted product by EPC and developers. These products have advance features for monitoring and also impart best generations through its unique engineering and design topology.

Earlier in July this year, we have launched second flagship product in utility segment of 255k-EHV Model after a successful demonstration of 125k inverters. Our order book is strong and shipments will follow in December and early next years. Also, all the top EPCs are using this solution as it will have lowest LCOE for developers in this competitive world because of its high rating and saving on the BOS end.

According to the new Energy Outlook data of Bloomberg New Energy Finance in 2019, the global energy storage will see the first round of rapid growth from 2020 to 2025, and the CAGR will reach 39 per cent from 2020 to 2025. After a brief decline in 2026, the energy storage will continue to grow. Starting from 2030, the installed capacity of new energy storage will keep above 30GW per year.

Following the global photovoltaic development trend, Solis will focus on the development of energy storage products in the future, such as energy storage all-in-one inverter, off-grid energy storage inverter, etc.

“Recently, Ginlong Solis reported strong third quarter results despite Covid-19 pandemic situation, what factors you feel contributed for the same?”

Yes last quarter has been good and further we look to strengthen our top line for the last quarter. Top reasons which made us realize this are:

Reliability:
- Third-party validated reliability leads the pack:
- Less than 0.2% failure rates reported in the independent DNV•GL reliability audit,
- Top-of-range Lifespan Projection in String Inverter Category as Validated by DNV•GL,
- 100% of inverters produced are duration-tested before shipment to reduce failures during installation,
- The only inverter company to receive EUPD awards for 4 consecutive years

Bankability:
- Financial and manufacturing strength is widely recognized among leading financial institutions
- 2020 Q1-Q3 reported operating income was US$202.4 million, an increase of 74.31% year-on-year
- Manufacturing capacity of 5 GW with an expansion to 20 GW in 2021
- Endorsed by BloombergNEF as a top 3 bankable Asian inverter brand
- Listed by leading US banks and financial institutions including BoA, JP Morgan Chase, Mosaic, Sungage Financial, Dividend, Sunlight Financial, etc.

Local Service
- Hassle-free service delivered by local technicians available by phone and on-line
- Solis three-step after-sales support defines service excellence

“Has the working culture of businesses changed with the ongoing pandemic situation? How do you provide any maintenance or some emergency support to customers these days?”

There is a paradigm shift in the approach, people are opting more and more for virtual meetings and sessions. Business process is including precaution and risk management as most crucial part of the organization.

Despite this pandemic our team members are supporting day and night to the customers for their needs. Wherever it is required to send the person, we take one step further for the site visit with all precautionary measures. Logistics cost and transit time has been increased which is still taking time to streamline as per pre COVID era but yet improvement is significant. We are also making strategic tie ups with service provider for remote location technical support and site visits, this shall further fortify our service strength and reduce the downtime to minimum.

“Since the rise of string inverters, there has been competition in both central and string inverters, how do you see this?”

String inverters are the superior choice for utility scale solar developments While they have long been used for rooftop solar systems, string inverters are now increasingly chosen by EPCs as the preferred choice for utility-scale solar projects. This has been enabled by the advent of higher power string inverters such as Solis’ 255K-EHV product, and cost declines based on manufacturing efficiencies. String inverters are now roughly cost equivalent with central inverters on a cost per watt basis.

If you consider the CAPEX advantage almost you can save 10 – 15 lakhs INR per block depending on the design and array alignments and OPEX is having at least a saving of 5% - 8% per year.

There are a number of advantages to a solar system design based around string inverters which will end up providing better performance and cost savings over the life of the project. Here’re just a few of the reasons which describe that string inverters will provide a superior ROI for your utility scale solar project:

• Lower Installation Cost
There are many installation costs that can be reduced when working with string inverters instead of central inverters. String inverters are much smaller than central inverters, and don't require the same type of heavy equipment to move them into place for installation. Also, with string inverters at the end of each row of modules, you can use AC cabling instead of DC cabling, saving costs on cable. Additional cost savings will be found because there is no need for DC combiner boxes. With no central inverter, there is no need to install a skid, which can cost an additional ten to twenty thousand USD for a central inverter project.

• Higher Power Yield
High power string inverters like Solis' 255k have a standard 1.3:1 AC/DC ratio, with a maximum ratio of up to 2:1. This ratio, combined with the ultra-low starting voltage as low as 600V enables energy production early in the morning and late into the afternoon, increasing the overall yield of your power plant. The higher MPPTs also allow for the optimization of bifacial modules.

• Lower Operations & Maintenance Costs
Solis' string inverters are relatively maintenance-free and have a remarkable temperature tolerance. They have a highly efficient redundant cooling system that allows them to operate at a higher max temperature (up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit). There's no need to torque check the terminals. And, in the case of failure, there's no need to shut down the entire power plant as you would with a central inverter. You simply replace the malfunctioning component and return it to Solis for repair.

• Smarter Data Collection
Solis string inverters allow smarter data collection with power line communication (PLC) and remote IV curve monitoring. Power line communication provides a cable-free parallel communication path, at ten times the speed of RS485. Remote IV curve monitoring allows you to track and optimize the performance of individual strings without the need for a field technician on site, and no power loss while running the scan.

• Storage Ready
Whether you choose to install storage in the original project or as a retrofit, Solis' string inverters are AC or DC storage ready. With DC compatible terminals, there is no need to restrict the choice to only AC storage solutions.

We expect that by 2022 there will be 30% of the projects to be executed in utility segment with string inverters.

“The tendering of solar plus storage projects have already been started in India. How do you see this opportunity?”

Recently lot of tenders have been issued with this Idea and I think it’s a high time to execute these projects.
Solis has a state of cutting edge solutions for Utility and Residential segments. Our new 255k-EHV can be integrated with storage via peripheral devices and is very useful for these projects. Other segment includes latest offering for Off grid which is a complete solution for Indian Sub-continent. These solutions can be integrated to support grid, Non Net-Metering Discoms, remote areas, micro grid applications etc.

“How much of inverter shipments Solis targets for FY21? Are there any further investment and expansion plans as well?”

We are targeting more than 600-800MW in India next year. This includes balanced product spread across residential, C&I and Utility segments. Our new advanced state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will also be ready by Feb – Mar, this will further fillip our shipments. With this new facility the total annual capacity will reach more than 20+GWs annually.

Interview 21/01/2021 by Manu Tayal
 
 
 
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