BHEL wins 15 MW solar project, total reaches 180 MW

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited said it got an order from Gujarat Alkalies and Chemical Limited for setting up a 15 MW Solar Photovoltaic power plant in Gujarat on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.

This takes the total solar power generation capacity being constructed by the company to 180 MW, including ground-based and rooftop-based.

The plant will be constructed in Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka.

“This will be BHEL’s first ground-mounted Solar PV project in the state of Gujarat,” it said.

BHEL has a capacity to manufacture 105 MW of solar cells and 226 MW of solar modules per year.

Solar cells are made from silicon wafers, which are made from crystalline silicon, which is in turn made from silica. India does not have a single plant to make crystalline silicon.

BHEL also has solar panel manufacturing at its its Electronic Systems Division, Bengaluru.

BHEL claims to be one of the few companies in which does significant research and development in solar.

India and China are seen as the biggest market for solar power products in the future.

China is estimated to have around 90 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity, while India has around 15 GW.

China added around 35 GW in the last year alone, while India will be adding around 10-15 GW this year.

BHEL gets most of its revenue from making equipment for traditional energy infrastructure, such as boilers for coal powered power plants. However, India is likely to see a sharp drop in the construction of coal-powered power plants in the next 2-3 years due to a decline in the cost of solar power equipment. BHEL is trying to futureproof its business by diversifying into solar.