Tata Power Group’s arm Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd has started commercial production of solar modules from its new plant in Tamil Nadu, with the solar cell production set to commence next month. This development is expected to boost several capacity-addition projects that require locally manufactured products.

Located at Gangaikondan, Tirunelveli District in southern Tamil Nadu, the new solar cell and module facility of Tata Power Renewable Energy produced about 130 MW of modules in the March 2024 quarter. The manufacturing operations are expected to stabilise within three months, with the factory reaching its peak capacity of 4.3 GW in the subsequent quarter.

“We will start then producing 100 per cent domestically manufactured cell and module, which is a requirement for many of the bids excluding the rooftop programme of the government,” Praveer Sinha, MD and CEO, Tata Power said during the company’s Q4FY24 earnings call.

Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd had announced that it would increase investment in the existing agreement with the Tamil Nadu government, signed on July 4, 2022, to set up 4 GW of solar cells and solar modules, with an investment of ₹3,000 crore, in two phases in Gangaikondan in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu.

Expansion plans

The expansion will include the upgradation of the infrastructure and setting up of an additional 300 MW each of cell and module lines using the latest TOPCon technology, bringing the total plant capacity to 4.3 GW. As per the new MoU, this project will entail an additional investment of ₹800 crore over the next two years.

The modules produced in Tamil Nadu will be used to meet the captive requirements of the company initially. As of now, it has sufficient contracts for the current module capacity. As and when it ramps up, it will look at the opportunity of selling outside.

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The management indicated that the company was maintaining its leadership position in the solar rooftop EPC segment. It has already installed more than 2 GW of rooftop solar in the country. So, we have the largest penetration with a 20 per cent market share. There is a huge gap between us and the next big player. And we expect that we will maintain our leadership,” said Sinha.

With the PM Surya Ghar Yojana programme, the company expects to boost its play on solar rooftops in coming months.

The rooftop solar market has grown at a CAGR of 17 per cent in the past 4 years and currently, India has 14.5 GW of installed solar rooftop capacity.