While solar is incubating many startups, manufacturing startups are relatively rare in the sector, as manufacturing remains the most difficult part of the chain. Rayzon Solar, the Gujarat based startup that started in 2017 with 40 MW capacity has grown to 1.5 GW since then, with plans to go to 5 GW by 2025. The young founders learned on the job, and emerged as one of the achievers in the sector within 5 years, showing a particular ability to execute their plans well. We caught up with Hardik Kothiya, Managing Director.

How did the year start for Rayzon? How do you see the rest of the year going, and what are your expectations for the future?

Hardik Kothiya Rayzona
Hardik Kothiya, Director, Rayzon Solar

Well, back in 2016 when we finished our college, we were exploring a business opportunity and looking to enter the industry, which will experience a boom in the near future. We have done a thorough research through many sources, following this, we have listed two categories- solar power and artificial intelligence. After many discussions, my partner and I decided to go for solar business because artificial intelligence is very modern in 2016 and there is no proper guidance in this business.

Like solar, there are already players in the market where we can get a lot of information. We learned a lot from them and to this day, we learn from our competitors. That is why we are the fastest growing company in the solar module manufacturing industry.

We designed our vision on the belief that our customers, partners, and communities should use the sun’s rays in a simplified way to make their future stronger and more sustainable. Since its inception, the company has provided trust by producing the most reliable photovoltaic modules for various domestic, commercial, and industrial applications.

In 2016, we started the 40MW Solar Module Production Line and we further increase the production capacity in 2019 to 2021 of 110MW, 150MW. And this year, 2022, we are about to reach our production milestone ie 1.5GW. We have a goal to achieve 1.5GW by 2025 but we have achieved it by 2022. Our vision is to setup 5 GW capacity for solar module production line by 2025, with 1 GW capacity for in solar cell manufacturing. Also, we are trying to make Rayzon an international brand

During the year, we saw the initiation of the customs duty regime on imports, as well as the expansion of the ALMM scheme for local projects. Will these measures have the desired effect on domestic manufacturing?

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) implemented the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) in April 2022 in response to long-standing demand from India’s solar manufacturing sector. According to imported solar modules’ extreme price in international competition, this kind of action will preserve domestic solar companies. In the long run, a high tax rate will benefit the solar panel industry because it will close the price difference between domestically produced solar components and imported solar components. We see the government of India’s bold move as positive for the Solar Industry.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is aware of the urgent need to protect domestic companies in solar modules from price increases in competition from foreign providers and to reduce the influence of cheap imports in the solar markets. in India. The domestic company’s capacity to manufacture solar cells and modules is still in its infancy. To increase production capacity and to fulfill domestic needs while also meeting high quality standards, we need more incubation time. Therefore, it is premature to levy the Basic Customs Duty at this time and may lead to a major misalignment between supply and demand if the solar cell manufacturing capacity does not meet the demand of the module manufacturer. We believe these measures are desirable to protect the solar industry but should also provide significant benefits to exports and domestic supply.

What are your own plans for the future, in terms of expansion and growth?

In the coming years, technological advances will ensure that solar becomes more affordable. It is possible that by 2030, solar will be the most important source of energy for electricity production in many parts of the world. It also has a positive impact on the environment and climate change. Going forward, the solar industry has very clear cost reduction roadmaps, which should see solar costs halved by 2030. There is already a move in place towards higher efficiency modules , which generates 1.5 times more energy than existing, same-sized modules today. using a technology called tandem silicon cells. This will have a big impact on the future.

In addition, manufacturing advances are in the process of reducing the amount of expensive components needed to make solar cells, such as silicon and silver, as well as innovations such as bifacial modules, which can solar energy gathering panels from both sides. The best way to implement solar energy in our homes, places of business, and power systems is another great development. We believe that Rayzon should move towards a broader vision so we are currently working to achieve our new milestones, that is, we plan to install a 5 GW capacity for solar module production line in 2025, along with a 1 GW capacity for solar. making the cell.

Various states have shown resistance to residential rooftops, which have not seen significant growth compared to other areas of solar. Gujarat is an exception to this. Can you attribute the state’s success in this area to the New Solar Policy in 2021, Surya Urja Rooftop Yojana? How does Rayzon Solar use its benefits?

Gujarat has definitely done a great job in terms of residential rooftop solar. Gujarat is the first in terms of rooftop subsidies and also the people of Gujarat have grabbed the opportunity of rooftop solar with both hands and people are reaping all the benefits from it. Rayzon stood as the second largest supplier of DCR modules in Residential Rooftop Solar in Gujarat after Adani Green last year according to the official government website and for this year, it aims to become the top DCR module supplier in Gujarat.

However, the Rajasthan government is also supporting solar rooftop subsidy schemes to promote renewable energy. Taking the central government’s agenda forward, Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited has introduced rooftop solar subsidy schemes where they provide up to 40% subsidy. Not only Rajasthan but Kerala, Chhattisgarh and other states are also actively promoting Solar Rooftop Schemes.

What future trends in solar energy are you looking at?

Although solar panels continue to improve in efficiency, homes and businesses can now generate large amounts of power in a few small areas. Solar PV panels are becoming smaller, lighter, and better looking, increasing their visual appeal. As solar panels continue to improve in performance, individuals and businesses can also produce more energy in a limited footprint.

Currently, the market is moving towards MBB (Multi Busbar) Solar Cell technology and as previously stated, it provides 1.5% more output than traditional modules. There are a few manufacturers that make MBB modules and Rayzon is one of them. Our internal R&D team is working to achieve higher module efficiency by using more efficiency cells.

Meanwhile we see the future trend as making bifacial modules that produce solar power from both sides of the panel. While traditional opaque backsheet panels are monofacial, bifacial modules expose the front and back of the solar cells. If the bifacial modules are installed on a highly reflective surface (such as a white TPO roof or ground with light-colored stones), some bifacial module manufacturers claim a 40% increase in production only from the additional power generated from the rear.

In terms of a technology shift, do you see polycrystalline modules as having a future in the near and medium term? Aren’t they best served by a thriving rooftop feature?

As far as solar cell and module technology is concerned, polycrystalline modules can be used in the medium term. At present, many states have introduced rooftop schemes and tenders and there is no production capacity for multi busbar cells in India and therefore the industry is relying only on polycrystalline modules. However, polycrystalline solar panels are more eco-friendly than monocrystalline solar panels because they do not require individual molding and placement of each crystal and most of the silicon is used during production.

But after the innovation of the multi busbar solar cell technology, the owners of the giant project preferred the latest modules to the traditional ones.

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