Below are the excerpts of our recent interview with Mr. Amit Khurana, Managing Director, MI Solar
Let’s begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence and offerings in India.
MI Solar India Ltd is a wholly owned com- pany by Madhav Corp. Madhav Corp essentially owns about 100 megawatts projects in India. It develops a project, funds them and builds them. We are out and out a development and an EPC company. We have done about 100 megawatts across 5 or 6 states – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab. MI Solar is a brand that we have created recently which caters to the turnkey solutions. Essentially projects execution on a captive basis.
What have been some of the recent developments at MI Solar?
We are essentially building plants on net metering basis, on CAPEX basis or RESCO model for SECI or other large scale capative users and consumers. There are some plants that we are developing ourselves under MI SOLAR.
We are also trying to go into the hybrid solar market which is DG (Diesel Generator)& Hybrid solar. We are doing a pilot project of 500 Kilowatt system in Madhya Pradesh which is essentially a 500 KVA DG; running a stone crushing plant that runs for 16-18 hrs a day. And we are trying to develop a controller and also a system hybrid so that the consumption of diesel essentially drops by about 30%, thereby reducing the dependency on diesel. This is quite largely prevalent in the markets across the UAE. We are developing one system here and then maybe roll it out for others.
Tell us a bit about the recent technology advancements in your sector?
The technology advancements are for everybody to see. Storage is the upcoming sector. Large scale solar PV plants are very common now. Although, even in the large scale solar PV plants there is a 1500 volt system that has come up which essentially reduces the balance of materials. So, one can look at that.
Secondly, for the rooftop markets there are now monitoring solutions and systems. We are operating in the small scale also in single phase invertors up to 6 KW and some other systems. Although it’s been now tried and tested, but upgradation in technology is taking place. For inverters and modules, the 1500 volt system is a new thing also.
Other than that, there are the cleaning mechanisms which are coming in for large scale plants which do not consume any water. It is a robotic cleaning system offered by some vendors. How useful they are for the Indian market is to be seen because the cost is quite high at the moment. But it is the future. Thirdly, the storage market.
What have been the latest trends in demand for your products and services in India? Where do you see the next demand growth coming from?
Like I mentioned CAPEX or captive units, RESCO models, distributed generation like the solar rooftops is picking up in a sub- stantial manner.
Other than that, storage is coming in. The small storage capacity in a larger plant is already there. The tenders are already in place. SECI is bidding out quite a few projects. For smaller storage system, the distributed generation is also taking place now. These are the enhancements that will take the market towards that.
Large scale solar PV market has now become an investors’ game. Investors with a large pool of capital available with them with lower revenue expectation will take such projects.
Other than that anybody who will survive in this market will basically be into the technology game, acceptance of new types of technologies and in the rooftop industry.
Any message you would like to give to the solar industry?
MI Solar essentially and Madhav Corp.have taken the wave of the large scale solar PV market. We are a completely privately held company. We have not sold any equity to anybody. We are not funded by private equity as of now. We are open to tie ups wherein investors who are looking for a piece of the Indian solar PV market can look at us as an execution partner because we do all the turnkey including land acquisitions ourselves. Indian PV market is fragmented and is not easy executing the project with all the local problems that come with the Indian PV market like land acquisition, transmission lines and evacuation. We have an expertise across that because solar PV market is not the only market that we operate in. We also operate in the Roads and Highways and small hydro. Our execution man power is about 1000 people. So that is the message I would like to give.