In Conversation with Mr.C Chaudhary, Head –Solar OstroEnergy Pvt. Ltd.
Let’s start with the recent developments at OSTRO in last one year.
Ostro Energy has very strong financial backing, and counts Actis Capital (AUM : $7bn) as a key investor. Ostro prides itself in being one of the quickest to reach over 1.1GW portfolio, within 3 years, with a good blend across wind & solar. Our vision is to make green energy accessible to all.
Last one year was primarily invested in execution of a strong pipeline of over 400MW. Additionally, we set the new benchmark in wind PPA, winning 250MW at a record tariff.
As a developer, what key challenges do you face today?
The key challenges as FX Risk, payment security from state government, timely and clean land acquisitions, evacuation system and tedious permits and approvals.
Another key gap in India is lack of high quality international EPC contractors. Having installed solar across different continents, I strongly feel that quality of EPC contractors in India needs to improve significantly.
Which states do you believe will see maximum solar energy investments this year?
Rajasthan, U.P. & M.P.
As the assets become older, will aggressive bidding today become a pain point forthe industry a few years down the line?
This will be true for companies who are not technology driven. Initially solar was driven by Capex optimisation and land availability, but with many global investors such as Actis Capital, entering India now the focus is on LCOE and new technologies.
The same is evident from the improvement in technology for solar panel, inverters and structures. As we move from 5MW – 10MW plants to plant sizes of 100MW – 1000MW, automation will to take centre stage. Some of the key technologies you will see in next couple of years will be robotic dry cleaning, manless security technologies and extensive use of virtual robots (for data analysis to improve plant performance).
Solar energy has already achieved grid parity and will constitute the major chunk of all new power plants addition in India and the world. I strongly believe that Indian solar space will grow to 500 GW by 2030 and will be a key employment generator over next two decades.
What are the milestones you wish to achieve by the end of this fiscal?
In solar business, we will commission 110 MW and 350 MW capacity in wind. We are also planning to develop several MW capacity of solar pipeline by end of the fiscal year.
Anything else you would like to add for our readers.
The industry should start focusing on technology and operational efficiency and ensure that Indian customers enjoy the most competitive green energy tariff around the world. I am very optimistic that by 2040 everything shall be run by Solar.