Interview (Rishi Seth)

Rishi Seth,
Joint Managing Director at HPL Electric & Power Pvt. Ltd

“Please introduce HPL Company to Energetica India readers?”

HPL Electric & Power Limited is India’s leading manufacturer of electric equipment and has a formidable presence across five key verticals: Metering Solutions, Modular Switches, Switchgears, Wires & Cables and LED Lighting

We have a proven track record of over four decades in the Indian electrical equipment industry, providing products that conform to Indian and International standards such as ISI, CE, and KEMA. Our products are designed keeping the requirements of India’s emerging electrical equipment market. Our backend integrated facilities have the capabilities of product design and development, component designing, tool manufacturing, and commercial production.

Over the years, brand HPL has been associated with quality products and we aim to ensure that each one of our customers benefits from our cutting-edge innovation, design and technical expertise.

“What kind of products does HPL deal with within the solar industry?”

HPL has introduced a range of Balance of Systems (BoS) for solar applications and currently, we have the widest range of BoS under one brand, which are-

Solar cables
Bi-Directional meters
Junction boxes
LT Panel
DC & AC Distribution boxes
String combiner and monitoring boxes
DC Luminaries for solar home lighting systems and solar street lighting system
Submersible cables for solar water pumps

“How big and competitive is the solar cable industry? We, the industry, always speak about the modules and the inverters but not much attention is paid to the smaller yet important types of equipment that go with the modules and the inverters.”

In recent years, the solar energy industry has become very competitive. There has been a sustained focus of the Government to enhance the solar power sector with a view to generating electricity to fulfill the emerging domestic demand, with a target to produce 100GW by 2022. The solar power sector has seen incremental growth in technology which has significantly brought down the cost, but at the same time, it has also affected the margins. Along with that, the competition in the sector has also increased manifolds. However, a business opportunity both from the public sector as well as the private sector has also increased in the solar segment, which has somewhat balanced the lower margins with economies of scale.

From an equipment viewpoint, PV modules, battery, and inverters generally occupy the mind space of a developer of the solar power plant, they are essentially minding and heart of the system, but even they are dependent on a strong nervous system, which is where BoS comes in.

HPL offers solar cables, junction & distribution boxes, etc. conforming to the latest international industry standards, which helps in seamless functioning of a solar power plant, minimize loss and ensure that plant is running at the optimum level at any given point of time

“What are some of the successful projects that HPL has been associated with, in the Indian solar industry?”

HPL has been associated with various prestigious power projects in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of the country as well; few of our esteemed clients for Balance of Systems (BOS) are Mahindra Susten, Adani Power, Sterling & Wilson, Azure power, Navalakha Transliners, and Ravi Renewables

“Please share details of your manufacturing and distribution network in India for solar products?”

HPL Group has a total of 9 manufacturing facilities. Its modern manufacturing units are located in Gurugram, Kundli, Sonipat, Panipat and Himachal Pradesh. These are ISO 9001: 2000 certified.

The main production plant for the solar range is in Kundli. HPL’s solar cable and conventional cable manufacturing facility is in Karnal. For energy and bi-directional meters, we have a plant in Gurugram whereas for switchgear we have a plant in Jabali. The R&D Centres are located in Gurugram (Haryana) and Kundli (Haryana) which are approved by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and employ over 100+ engineers with dedicated teams to manage the tool rooms.

“What trends are we experiencing in the street lights market in India?”

The solar street light market is shifting towards the “All-in-One” type of street light where, we have the module, battery, and luminaries in one single casing. Although cost is a constraint at the moment, we believe this issue will be addressed once we have more economical solutions for lithium batteries

“What kind of challenges does HPL face as a solar manufacturer in India? What kind of support do you expect from the government?”

The solar power equipment industry requires sustained government support in the form of incentives, tax rebates, schemes to promote private participation, policy measures. In recent years the Government has also come out with safeguard duty on import of low cost and substandard solar power equipment from abroad. As a policy measure, we expect the Government to come out with stricter regulation on imports, at the same time incentivize ‘Make in India’ for solar equipment.

Interview 21/01/2020 by Moulin
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