NEXTracker to invest $4-5 m to set up manufacturing facility

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 24, 2017

US energy storage giant will set up the 500-MW solar tracker unit in North India

US-based solar tracker and energy storage giant NEXTracker will be setting up a 500 MW manufacturing facility in North India, according to top company representatives.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Vice President, Emerging Markets, NEXTracker, Nava Akkeneni, said: “The project plan is in the final stages of completion. We envisage an investment of $4-5 million for the project.”

The company will be making solar trackers for the domestic as well as export markets. These trackers are critical in solar power generation, as they change the direction of solar panels — throughout the day — with respect to the position of the sun to increase generation.

The cost of solar trackers is typically 8-10 per cent of the total project cost of a solar power generation facility.

NEXTracker’s manufacturing push may force domestic tracker makers to realign prices accordingly. Jasmeet Khurana, Associate Director - Consulting, Bridge to India, said: “Project developers mostly source locally manufactured solar access trackers. Existing manufacturers may be forced to stop charging any premiums that they charge on products to compete with the prices the company may offer.”

According to Akkeneni, NEXTracker will not be requiring any additional support to remain competitive in the tracker market. “We are not looking at an subsidy as an incentive to set up the plant. The plant proposal will be finalised in another four-five months, and the plant will be commissioned in six months from then,” he said. The facility will take off in the next financial year, according to company officials.

The solar tracker market has just started developing in India. “A lot of global project developers already opt for access (solar) trackers to improve performance,” observed Khurana. “But, a lot of new projects in India have been bid based on the use of trackers from an economic perspective. Most developers think that the use of trackers can help reduce costs and improve the financial viability of projects.”

Published on January 24, 2017
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