Enfinity Solar Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Belgian company, intends to promote a 100 MW solar park in the Coimbatore district. Enfinity’s Managing Director, Guy Baeyens, told Business Line today that the company has two key elements in place – land and approvals for linking to grid.

Baeyens, who believes that the recently-announced Tamil Nadu Solar Policy will help populate the park with developers, said that having land and approvals in hand was a big time saver for those who would put up projects in the park. Enfinity on its own intends to put up a 15 MW solar plant in the proposed park. (A solar power plant typically costs about Rs 9 crore a MW.)

The required land is registered in the name of a Coimbatore-based business house with whom Enfinity is on the verge of entering into a joint venture. Baeyens did not wish to disclose the name of the partner.

For its own project, Enfinity has both equity and debt financing in place. Debt, on non-recourse basis, is from overseas lenders. Baeyens said that Enfinity could help developers in the park raise debt funds abroad.

Enfinity owns 390 MW of solar capacity in Europe-both utility scale and rooftop plants, not counting plants that it built and sold off. In India, the company has so far built plants of a total capacity of 21 MW, for a number of clients including Welspun.

No to thin films

Enfinity will not use solar panels made with the ‘thin film’ technology. This is because, while it is true that thin film modules generate more electricity in hot climatic conditions such as in India, they suffer from ‘thermal breakage’. The modules break in hot summers.

The module manufacturer may replace the modules, but there will be disruption in generation, Baeyens observed.

He said that thin film modules were yet not proven for their long term performance. In contrast, crystalline silicon has performed well for over 35 years, he said.

Rooftops

Enfinity is also offering its services for putting up rooftop solar plants. Baeyens said that the company had rich experience in building rooftop plants in Europe.

Typically, a grid-connected rooftop plant will switch off when the grid power fails. Therefore, the customer does not get solar power when he needs it the most, i.e., when he does not get grid power. However, Enfinity has a technology that will allow the rooftop plant to continue to generate power even if the grid goes off. This is also without the aid of batteries, Baeyens said.

ramesh.m@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 26, 2012)
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