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"Indian developers are factoring in a broad range of meteorological data into their project development"

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In Conversation with Mr. David Hurwitt, Vice President, Global Marketing and Product Management, NRG Systems

Let’s begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence and offerings in India?

We have had a presence in India since 2001 when we sold our first Wind Resource Assessment system in the region through our partner, RK Systems (http://www.rkwindmast.com/). Our Wind Resource Assessment solutions combine a range of met sensors, like anemometers and wind vanes, with a data logger and met mast to measure the precise suitability of a given site for wind development. Over the years, we have grown this business significantly, adding to our wind product line and introducing similar project siting and optimization tools for solar.

For example, we sell a turnkey Solar Resource Assessment (SRA) system that includes all of the sensors and the tower needed to assess different sites for solar development. This includes all of the field-tested sensors and instruments required to capture data relating to solar radiation, wind speed and direction, temperature, pressure, humidity, and precipitation. Building on the success of the SRA system, we have introduced our Solar Resource Monitoring (SRM) system. Outfitted with the SymphonieiPackACCESS communications module, our SRM system seamlessly integrates into your SCADA network to monitor and accurately forecast the performance of your solar PV plants.All of this comes with our industry leading SymphoniePRO data logger that securely stores and transmits your data so you can develop sites with exceptional and predictable returns.

What have been some of the recent developments at your organisation?

We are very excited to have been acquired this May by ESCO Technologies, a publicly traded, diverse manufacturing company based in the USA. After 35 years of excellent growth under private ownership, we are looking forward to working with our partners within ESCO to accelerate this growth. This will include significant new product introductions and even closer relationships with our customers in India and beyond.

Tell us a bit about the recent technology advancements in your sector?

We have recently launched two exciting new products in India that we are confident will help improve project predictability, security, and ROI for our customers. The first is the release of the latest addition to our industry leading Symphonie data logger line – the SymphoniePRO. With unparalleled data capture integrity, security, and simplicity, our customers have responded extremely positively to the enhanced capabilities of the PRO line. In particular, the versatility of 26 channels, coupled with 1-second data sampling, and our incredibly intuitive SymphoniePRO Desktop Application software, make this our best logger ever.

The second great development for our customers is our introduction of the Soiling Measurement Kit to our SRA and SRM systems. This simple system allows you to precisely monitor and understand the impact of dust and dirt build-up on your panels so that you can make highly informed decisions on both project siting (some locations attract more dust and dirt than others) and post-construction panel cleaning investments (imagine knowing the precise timing and ROI for cleaning your panels). These systems are also extremely effective as a part of your post-construction power monitoring regime, allowing you to know when power output declines are being driven by soiled panels and when there are other mechanical factors that require maintenance. With this simple and high-value addition to your SRA system, you can now take much of the guesswork out of these important functions.

What are your growth plans for the Indian market? What are the milestones you wish to achieve by the end of this fiscal?

Our growth in India remains strong and is coming from new product innovation, organic growth with our customers, and our ongoing efforts to connect with new customers. In particular, our new Soiling Measurement Kit and SymphoniePRO data logger are proving to be extremely popular in the Indian market due to their high reliability, intuitive operation, and value pricing.

In addition, we continue to see very strong interest from our wind customers as they begin to develop solar projects as well. This has led to a lot of crossover of best practice application in the resource assessment and resource monitoring markets in particular. Utility-scale solar developers are now demanding the same level of sophistication of data that has long been required in the wind market. This primary data driven approach is leading to more profitable and efficient solar projects across India and is an important trend for the industry as it matures.

What have been the latest trends in demand for your products & services in India? Where do you see the next demand growth coming from?

The importance of both pre- and post- development measurement of the precise solar resource on a given site has become an essential element for new projects across India. More than ever, Indian developers are factoring in a broad range of meteorological data into their project development and we have seen site outputs increase from 3-5% simply by using ground data in site selection. To aid in this, we have included even greater precision in our new SymphoniePRO data logger and will be rolling out several new met sensors in the coming year.
As we look to the future, we hear more and more of our customers asking for help in increasing their Annual Energy Production (AEP) from current and future projects. As our market grows more competitive and as the requirement to drive more and more cost out of solar plants increases, it is incumbent on all participants in the value chain to contribute. From smarter siting, to cheaper installation, more efficient generation systems, and more efficient O&M, we are still in the early stages of maximizing the value potential of solar.

Anything else you would like to add for our readers?

It is very exciting for us to see and participate in the continued solar growth in India. We are fortunate enough to work with customers in over 150 countries around the world and every day we see the Indian market distinguish itself with a unique combination of corporate sophistication, government leadership, and strong end-customer demand. This is a rare and dynamic combination that marks India as a global leader.

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