ROI Estimation and Business Case Preparation

The planning process for solar power adoption begins with a business case based on sound financial analysis over an appropriate time horizon. Although the factors favoring the setting up of solar PV power plants for generating power are fundamentally compelling, it is important to objectively and impartially estimate ROI (return on investment), and benefits against costs. The value of power generated over the life of the plant is compared to initial investment or opportunity costs depending on the adoption models being considered, i.e. Own & Operate, Onsite PPA or Offsite PPA. Other factors such as the cost of capital, inflation in grid energy and captive generator costs, depreciation, etc. are also considered, as relevant. Although in the PPA (both Onsite and Offsite) adoption model upfront investment is not required, the customer enterprise organization must still assess the cost-benefit of entering into a long term agreement. To estimate power generated several factors are considered, including feasibility of solar panel installations on building rooftops, non-shaded area available on rooftops, ground, or both, climatic conditions for the location, latitude and incident sunlight around the year etc. Sun Photovoltaic Solar has guided several customer organizations to assess the feasibility and attractiveness of solar power adoption.

Policy Review and Choice of Scheme

Government policy and available schemes for facilities such as gross metering (total export of power the grid), net metering (net export of excess solar power generated), industry specific schemes, location specific schemes, institution specific schemes, including subsidies, permissible depreciation calculation and so on, can significantly impact the overall advantage that a customer gets from solar adoption. As a solar power solutions provider actively engaged with the MNRE (Ministry of New and Rural Energy, Government of India), Sun Photovoltaic Solar helps its customers to get the maximum advantage from prevalent government schemes and policies at the time of investment planning.

Arrangement of Project Funding

Depending on the adoption model being considered by the customer, the requirement for funding could be different in quantum, tenor and nature. For example, customer organizations favoring the Onsite PPA model would need to only provide rooftop or ground space for a specified period, and enter into a PPA, to enjoy supply of solar power – all this, with no capital outflow from their side! However, the challenge here is to secure financial investment from a solar developer to provide the capital funding to set up the solar power plant. Sun Photovoltaic Solar has brought in solar developers to make possible large solar PV projects on customers’ facilities and premises, to enable setting up of power plants under the Onsite PPA model. Alternatively, in the case of Offsite PPA model adoption Sun Photovoltaic Solar can enable the customer organization to enter into a PPA to set off its energy consumption with clean solar energy being generated elsewhere. In the case of Own & Operate model, Sun Photovoltaic Solar can assist the customer to secure project finance from institutions, to fund the setting up of the power plant.

Technical Design Expertise

Since inception, Sun Photovoltaic Solar has been fundamentally strong in solar power plant design. This is a complex activity, which includes physical site survey, simulation of sunlight incidence over an annual cycle, the latitude, climatic conditions and specific site conditions of the proposed plant location. If the proposed power plant is on a building rooftop, several factors such as structural strength, roof materials, presence of other types of equipment such as a/c chillers, water tanks etc, shade areas of trees, other buildings, other natural or manmade structures etc, have to be considered. If the proposed power plant is ground mounted, then soil conditions, terrain slope etc. must be considered. The electrical conditions such as existing building wiring and panels, availability of transformers etc, need to be considered as well. The Sun Photovoltaic Solar team is reputed for creating designs which maximize power generation while enhancing the aesthetic quality of the installation along-with total compliance of safety and facilities conditions.

Procurement of world class components

The performance and life of solar PV power plants depends, among other things on the quality of components used. It is important to ensure that there is no compromise on the most critical components, such as solar panels and grid tie inverters. Sun Photovoltaic Solar is brand-agnostic, and the design team is well versed with the comparative advantages of different brands of technical products available globally for solar PV power plants. Sun Photovoltaic Solar partners with leading product manufacturers to provide customers with the best engineered solar power plants.

Project Planning and Control

Construction of large solar PV power plants is a massive exercise. Several tons of equipment, including expensive, imported components have to be sourced, shipped, received, inspected, stored and then deployed. Large teams of skilled and semi-skilled labour have to be managed and deployed for civil engineering and electrical engineering operations. All activities onsite have to be done within the rules and constraints of the customer organization’s location, with cooperation of all stakeholders, including the customer teams, contractors, transporters and regulatory authorities. Project management to ensure planning, monitoring, control and reporting of all tasks is essential to avoid cascading delays, errors and lapses. Sun Photovoltaic Solar has a strong record of managing large solar PV power plant construction projects with smooth and reassuring control, across activities and locations.

Flawless Onsite Execution

Execution of all construction activities are the critical stage where the “rubber meets the road”. The quality of actual construction, installation of components, testing and commissioning the power plant are all aspects of this actual, onsite execution work. Sun Photovoltaic Solar has an excellent record in onsite construction execution, until the handover of the solar PV plant to the customer and the measurement of actual solar energy generated by the plant.

Ongoing Operations & Maintenance

In general, solar PV power plants designed and constructed by Sun Photovoltaic Solar are rugged, reliable and high performing, requiring minimal maintenance. Also, Sun Photovoltaic Solar power plants are often set up with features to provide solar power generation data and analytics, which also enable customers to measure their energy generation performance. However, it is advisable to ensure that the solar PV power plant is performing at its optimum level – for this purpose, Sun Photovoltaic Solar offers O&M services to customers who have already commissioned their solar PV power plants.