Daily News Wrap-Up: Leading Solar EPC Companies in 2023

OrianoWaaree Renewable TechnologiesProzeal Green EnergyTata Power Solar, and Gensol Engineering emerged as the top utility-scale solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) service providers in the calendar year (CY) 2023, according to Mercom’s India Solar Market Leaderboard CY 2023. Oriano was the top EPC player with a market share of 14.8%, followed by Waaree Renewable Technologies and Prozeal Green Energy with 13.7% and 13.6%, respectively.

THDC India has invited bids for the development of 600 MW to 2,000 MW on/off stream pumped storage projects on a turnkey basis with operation and maintenance for 15 years in various states in India. The last date for the submission of bids is May 13, 2024. Bids will be opened the next day. The scope of work includes selecting sites, conducting all relevant studies and investigations, and preparing preliminary feasibility reports and detailed project reports.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved the use of thin film solar modules produced at First Solar’s (FS India Solar Ventures) vertically integrated solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu in projects that have a Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) mandate. DCR solar modules refer to those in which both the solar cells and modules are manufactured within India. MNRE introduced this policy to promote local manufacturing and support the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Grew Energy, a renewable energy venture of the Chiripal Group, announced plans to set up a 3.2 GW solar module manufacturing facility in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir. The company will invest ₹45 billion (~$ 538.8 million) to establish the fully integrated three-stage facility on 80 acres of land. Upon completion, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 3.2 GW of high-efficiency solar modules and 2.8 GW of solar ingots, wafers and cells.

East Central Railway has invited bids to empanel agencies to implement 1.1 MW rooftop solar projects for the Samastipur division. The last date for submitting bids is June 10, 2024. Bids will be opened the same day. The selected solar power developer will oversee all aspects of the project, including engineering, design, procurement, installation (including civil and structural components), testing, and commissioning of the solar systems.

The Pune Division of Central Railway has invited bids for state-wise empanelment of agencies to implement grid-connected rooftop solar power projects in Maharashtra through public-private partnerships and on a design, build, finance, operate, and transfer basis. The projects would be developed in two capacity ranges — (i) above 10 kW and up to 100 kW, and (ii) above 100 kW and up to 500 kW. Bidders can quote for one or all the capacities.

India’s power sector emissions rose 7.2% in 2023 from the previous year as a decline in hydropower generation due to droughts, particularly in the second half of the year, offset gains from wind and solar output, according to a report from energy think tank Ember. Hydropower generation fell by 15% in 2023, forcing an increased reliance on coal-fired power plants to meet demand. India’s weakened monsoon spell, coupled with the country’s strong GDP growth, added nearly 190 million tons of CO2 to global emissions in 2023.

In a recent paper published in Solar Energy, researchers said they collected data from a solar cell factory to develop and evaluate water recycling strategies in the manufacture of solar Passivated Emitter and Rear Cells. A team of researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Technische Universität Berlin, RENA Technologies, and the University of Freiburg have, for the first time, developed a comprehensive water model of a solar cell factory to reduce water consumption and minimize wastewater production.

Lithium-ion storage solutions provider Flux Power Holdings’ net loss for the third quarter of the financial year 2023-24 widened 83% year-over-year  to $2.64 million on higher operating and interest expenses. The adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization loss for the quarter was ₹1.38 million compared to a loss of $676,000, primarily attributable to the impact of lower revenue.

Array Technologies, a utility-scale solar tracker supplier, reported a net loss of $11.3 million in Q1 2024 from a net income of $17.2 million in the same quarter last year due to lower sales and declining average selling prices. Revenue came in at $153.4 million, down 59% from $376.8 million in the prior year quarter. The timing of project deliveries drove the YoY decline in revenue.

Solar module manufacturer Canadian Solar posted a net income of $12.35 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, an 85.25% YoY drop from $83.71 million as the company continued to tackle pricing pressures in light of lower module average selling prices. The drop in profit was offset by the lower manufacturing costs and higher contribution from battery energy storage solutions sales. Canadian Solar’s operating expenses during the quarter increased to $203.68 million, an 18.15% YoY increase from $172.4 million.

Germany-based solar energy equipment supplier SMA Solar Technology reported a net income of €28.5 million (~$30.6 million), down by 44.8% YoY from €51.7 million (~$55.6 million) in Q1 2023. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization amounted to €49.9 million (~$53.6 million), down by 16.8% YoY from €60.0 million (~$64.5 million) in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Fluence Energy, a utility-scale energy storage firm, reported a 66% narrower net loss of $12.9 million in the second quarter of FY 2023-24 from $37.4 million last year as it reigned in its operating expenses. Despite an 11% fall in quarterly revenue from $698 million last year to $623 million in the second quarter, Fluence’s gross profit more than doubled from $30 million last year to $64 million. Gross profit margin improved to about 10.3%, compared to 4.4% for the same quarter last year.

U.S-based solar energy, battery, and storage service provider Sunrun incurred a net loss of $87.8 million in Q1 of 2024 due to the company transitioning from traditional tax equity to tax credit sales, causing it to invest $181 million in working capital. The company expects to recover this investment in the next quarter as cash from tax credit sales is recovered via arrears, while cash from tax credit allocation is earned back at the time of installation.


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