Prashant Mathur, Managing Director & CEO, Solis Solar

 

Please share in detail about the Solis Solar, products, operations and projects

Solis Solar headquartered at Jaipur and corporate office at Gurgaon- India has 3 verticals- Solis Panels, Projects and Pumps.

Our ‘SOLIS’ brand Solar Panels (Mercury, Mars and Jupiter series ranging from 20Wp to 330Wp) are manufactured in India with best in class raw materials at state of art facility with fully automated equipments.

Solis also specializes in Solar EPC projects for Industrial, Commercial and Residential roof tops both under CAPEX, BOOT and RESCO model.

Our 3rd vertical viz Solis Solar Pumps is dedicated to the rural segment for which we supply Solar pumps kit mainly to farmers ranging from 3Hp to 20Hp through distributors both on cash sales or under easy financing schemes collaborating through various banks and Micro-financing institutions.

How Solis Solar sees the solar energy market and what have been its key focus areas?

Solis is very positive about the future of Solar in India and Globally. We believe that Solar has just begun and in the years to come it will move from B2G and B2B to B2C as Rooftop is picking up. We believe that the value in Large projects have hit its lowest and it continues to go down but Rooftop space has still to see the peak and since the consumer will be directly buying projects or power, with project price the quality and after sales (O&M) will also play a big part.

With over a decade of experience in developing and producing photovoltaic modules and pumps, Solis Solar is now one of the market and technology leaders. How has been the journey so far and how do you compete with the low quality manufacturers?

Solis Solar is witnessing over years that the customer is getting more and more knowledgeable every passing day. We pitch ourselves against low end competitors in terms of educating the customer about the BOM used both in Panels and projects and company & product reliability. Since the project has to last for 25 years, the customer understands that they would need long-term support.

What percent of modules is exported from your manufacturing plants and what is the current efficiency of your modules that are being shipped?

India market is our strength area and we continue to focus here. International market is very competitive and scenario keeps changing. However we are looking to set ourselves in Americas in 2nd half of 2018. Our highest module efficiency is 335 Wp

What are the current and potential challenges that solar manufacturers facing in India?

The biggest challenge we are facing is unclear government stance on issues like Safeguard duties, Anti-dumping, BIS etc This brings lots of insecurities with the local players.

Please brief us about the scope of Solar Energy in Agriculture and how to identify the correct vendor?

Solar energy can play a huge role in Agriculture. Solar pumps are key product for Solis and we are looking at cost effective offgrid rooftop solutions for rural India. All our products are married to easy finance model to make it soft for the rural market to absorb easily.

According to Eco Survey 2017-18 tariffs have gone down to a level where projects can be unviable. Please share your view on the same?

I agree. It has become more of a finance game and with so tight margins it is imperative that quality of project will be compromised. I feel that this game will end soon and some of the companies will no longer remain.

The Director General of Safeguards (DGS) has proposed imposing a 70 % safeguards duty. It is been said that this will significantly damage the solar industry. What is your view?

This will be catastrophic for the Industry and Modi government dream of 100GW Solar will become a distant dream. We believe that the market should be left free to operate. We are witnessing the safeguard duties fear already as the projects installations will go down by about 20% this year.

What is your assessment of this year’s budget as far as the renewable energy sector is concerned?

We did not find much focus on Solar except some namesake announcements like Solar pumps supplying excessive power to grid and preferential tariffs on farming selling solar to grid. We expected solid announcements to promote manufacturing but I guess we have to wait.

Finally, what are the new products we are going to see from the house of Solis Solar this year and when?

We continue to expand our manufacturing and looking to add Monocrystalline modules in our portfolio. We also are looking to bring innovative financing model to develop Solar rooftop in Industrial and institutional segment.

(This Interview was originally published in March issue of Climate Samurai)

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