Taking a cue from the Indian government’s appeal to the industry to push for self-reliance and reduce imports, plans for a new solar cell and module manufacturing facility have been announced.
Indian solar energy solutions provider Vikram Solar has announced its intent to set up a 3-gigawatt solar manufacturing facility in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The facility will produce wafers, cells, and modules and is expected to be operational in five years. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Tamil Nadu for this purpose.
The development of the manufacturing facility would entail an investment of about $727.4 million by the company. It expects to create 7,542 jobs across the country.
The company’s decision to develop a manufacturing facility is in line with the government’s vision for AtmaNirbhar Bharat, which aims to make India self reliant by reducing imports on the Chinese equipment and to revive the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.
To protect the interest of domestic manufacturers and to reduce dependence on imports, the Director General of Trade Remedies has proposed an extension of the safeguard duties on imported solar cells by one more year. The directorate has recommended a 14.9% duty for the first six months from 30 July this year, and 14.5% for the next six months.
A similar announcement was made by ReNew Power as well last week to set up 2 gigawatts of manufacturing facility for cells and modules by investing Rs. 20,000 crore.
India currently has a manufacturing capacity of 11 gigawatts of solar modules and 3.1 gigawatts of solar cells. Out of the country’s annual demand of 10 gigawatts of solar equipment, 85% is imported.