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O2 Power Works On A Single-minded Commitment To Deploy Smart And Sustainable Technology At All Its Power Plants: Amresh Mahajan, VP, Technology/QA/HSE- Sustainability, O2 Power Pvt Ltd

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Amresh Mahajan - VP (Technology/QA/HSE- Sustainability), O2 Power Pvt Ltd

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Conversation Highlights:

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  • Believing in the ‘Make in India’ initiative, we have multiple procedures in place to comply with the ALMM and BIS regulations.
  • The Green Energy Open Access policy announced by the CERC is promising and has the potential to fire up the open access vertical in the country.
  • We have installed 100% P-type mono PERC bifacial modules at our recently commissioned solar plant in Rajasthan, making it the single biggest bifacial installation in the country in one place.

What are the major steps being taken by O2 Power in terms of quality assurances of each utility-scale solar project?

Quality and safety are primary considerations at O2 Power. The broad philosophy is to drive stringent preventive measures in the first tier, and have a strong, fast-to-deploy control measure matrix in the second. We have a paperless online QHSE portal that allows us to manage all supplier quality, project quality, HOTO, and operational quality in real-time, efficiently, and effectively. For critical items like inverters, transformers, and solar panels, there is 24*7 process monitoring at the supplier’s end.

At the sites, we have dedicated teams of electrical and civil engineers to monitor every activity and ensure the construction of world-class solar plants. Our rate of training hours per person per year is one of the highest in the industry. Our ‘on-the-job’ QHSE training matrix is tracked by our senior leaders. We also have a very comprehensive supplier qualification program which allows us to include only the best as our business partners.

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What would be your choice between large format high-power P-type and N-type solar modules for India’s large-scale utility solar plant and why? How will the exclusion of large-format high-power solar modules from the ALMM list affect O2 power’s strategic procurement policy?

O2 Power works on a single-minded commitment to deploy smart and sustainable technology at all its power plants. This stems from our broader commitment to net-zero emissions and conservation of the environment. Additionally, we firmly believe that the use of the latest technology is the key to lower LCOE. We have installed 100% P-type mono PERC bifacial modules at our recently commissioned solar plant in Rajasthan, making it the single biggest bifacial installation in the country in one place. In our view, it is prudent to use mono PERC bifacial modules (both 182mm and 210mm) as a natural choice, but for the medium term, we have been also evaluating the HJT and Topcon technologies. For the N-type solar modules to be universally acceptable, there will have to be more thrust on the increase in N-type wafers and cells. Further, believing in the ‘Make in India’ initiative, we have multiple procedures in place to comply with the ALMM and BIS regulations.

What is the outlook for O2 Power’s open-access solar segment? How recent Green Energy Open Access policy could boost open access verticals in India?

O2 Power views the fast-evolving ‘open access segment’ seriously and expects it to transform India’s RE sector at an accelerated pace. Accordingly, we are gearing up for it. With plants at the WIP stage across Karnataka, Telangana, and Maharashtra, we are poised to cater to large C&I customers in the near future. The long-term plan is to make deeper inroads in this segment.

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GOI’s focus on ‘Green Hydrogen’ will be a further boost. The Green Energy Open Access policy announced by the CERC is promising and has the potential to fire up the open access vertical in the country. However, going by the initial pulse, a real-world implementation may take its own time considering various on-ground techno-commercial difficulties.

How is O2 Power ensuring its sustainability goal, keeping in sync with global ESG practices?

We have defined our strategic development goals in line with global ESG practices, and have set up a detailed and realistic roadmap to achieve the same. Our KPIs and targets are aligned with these strategic sustainable development goals (7 goals out of 17 SD goals). We have also taken sustainable transformation goals for the long term in line with the requirement of ESG that includes top-line growth, in the long run, the ability to attract talent, reduce costs, forge a sense of trust amongst investors and contribute to overall social development. Developing a robust sustainability initiative with a specific objective that supports the integration of sustainability into the company’s overall corporate strategy is a comprehensive exercise that includes the definition of specific milestones, KPIs, and measurable targets. Developing the materiality matrix to meet the requirement of our sustainability strategy will help us devote our time and resources optimally and will result in a greater impact over the long term.

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How recently passed ‘The Energy Conversion (Amendment) Bill, 2022’, could open up new markets like carbon trading, energy-efficient building, etc? What is your view on India’s ‘Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022’?

The Energy Conversion (Amendment) Bill, 2022, mandates the use of renewable energy, carbon trading, more power for SERCs, BEE officers, mandatory codes for commercial buildings, standards of vehicles and vessels, etc. These have opened a lot of new avenues including virtual PPA, energy efficiency, renewable purchase obligations, etc. The bill has also opened new opportunities for consumers to choose their own distribution company by separating the carriage and content, empowering the National Load dispatch center for enhancing the operational efficiency and optimize the scheduling and dispatching of power, mandatory payment security mechanism for generators and improved comfort for consumers choosing open access. All these provisions will empower end users as well as improve the system’s efficiency while empowering the regulatory bodies for ensuring greater compliance.

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