Benelux_Infrastructure_Forum_171
15 July 2017 2017 12:01 PM GMT

Indian Firm Wins 1.8GW Sweihan Order; The Largest Solar PV Project In The World

Indian engineering company Sterling and Wilson, one of the key forces in the global solar-PV sector, has bagged the contract for the world’s largest single location solar PV project. The order is for turnkey EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) as well as O&M (operation & maintenance) for the PV plant in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi.

Project details were not provided on the conditions of this EPC and O&M contract. The project is jointly developed by Japanese investment firm Marubeni, Chinese solar company Jinko Solar, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). It will deliver a capacity of 1177 MWp, easily surpassing the current largest 850 MWp single location plant in China.

With construction already underway, the prodigious plant, which is spread over a desert area of 7.8 sq. km is scheduled to be fully integrated with the grid in a record timeline of just 23 months. In March this year, Marubeni and Jinko had signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with ADWEA on a tariff of $0.0242/kWh, making Sweihan not only the biggest solar power plant worldwide but also the one with the lowest electricity price so far.

The plant is jointly developed by a  consortium comprising Marubeni, a Japanese integrated trading and investment giant, along with Jinko, a global leader in the solar industry, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). This consortium has successfully bid a tariff of USD 2.42 cents per kilowatt hour, marking the lowest cost ever for solar power. This is a positive statement on the promising future of clean energy, reducing the dominance of fossil-fuel-backed power plants.

The prestigious project will play a major role in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi achieving its aim of sustainability and energy diversification, through the use of clean energy/low carbon growth in accordance with the world’s vision of long-term environmental stewardship. The plant, once commissioned, would save around 7 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, a number that would be a national landmark. To put it in perspective, 1177 MWp can power around 195,000 homes, thus contributing to the welfare of the current as well as the future generations of the people of the UAE.

“We are fully geared and very excited to be a part of this important milestone in the global solar market,” said Bikesh Ogra, President – Renewable Energy, Sterling and Wilson. Owing to the favourable government policies, India is now the 3rd largest market for solar in the world, allowing Sterling and Wilson the opportunity to become the leading solar EPC in the country. The company has created a global brand and has now grown to be the world’s largest solar EPC player outside USA and China.

Emphasising on the need to be competitive, he further added, “The strongest contributor to this tariff is the capital expense driven by lower equipment cost and a highly efficient system design. Our unique design offerings and state-of-the-art robotics optimises the yield and performance of the plant.” Sterling and Wilson also has to its credit >1400 MW of best performing solar power plants in various geographies with a powerhouse of more than 3000 qualified engineers, project managers and designers.

As the acceleration of growth in the energy sector has increased worldwide, the company has ventured into the wind and energy storage sectors, covering the entire canvas in the renewable sector. Backed by its robust resources in project management, project implementation and project engineering, with projects completed in the Philippines and South Africa, and a number of projects in Zambia, Niger and Morocco under construction, the company is fully geared to deliver more than 3000 MW every year.

Sterling and Wilson is an excellent example of how the Shapoorji Pallonji family has nurtured long-term associations with its business partners. The Mistry and Daruvala families have been partners in Sterling and Wilson for 3 generations. This partnership can only grow stronger, as the 4th generations of both families have recently joined the business.

Over the past 5 years, Sterling and Wilson has shown exceptional growth; with operations all over the globe, as well as an expansion in its range of services, the company’s turnover has shown an extremely positive growth. From a turnover of INR 1,760 crore in 2012, the group crossed a turnover of INR 6,000 crore last year as is likely to exceed INR 10,000 crore in the year ended March 2018. From being a predominantly India-focused company in 2010, it now operates across the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Europe. In the current year, the company is expanding to the USA and South America.

From being a company that was mainly focussed on doing MEP projects in India, it has, over the past 5 years has set up global operations in the manufacture of DG sets, Gas based power plants, Waste to Energy, Turnkey data centres, Transmission and Distribution and Solar EPC. With its recent entry into wind and energy storage, Sterling and Wilson is perfectly poised to play a pivotal role in the global trend of moving away from thermal plants to a future of renewable energy with storage.

August 9th 2017
IDFC Alternatives Fund Acquires Solar Projects Totaling 190MW From First Solar

India Infrastructure Fund II (IIF II), represented by its investment manager, IDFC Alternatives Limited, one of India’s largest alternatives fund managers, is to acquire seven operating solar projects owned and operated by the First Solar Group in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana aggregating to a capacity of 190 MW. All the projects utilise First Solar’s advanced CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) based thin film modules, one of the most environmentally friendly PV technologies, and sell the power generated to state utilities, under long term power purchase agreements. Aditya Aggarwal, Partner, IDFC Alternatives stated that “consistent with its stated strategy of aggregating operating renewable assets, IIF II is well on its way to achieving an installed base of 400-450 MW of operating renewable assets by the end of the current financial year.”

August 17th 2017
Siemens Gamesa Installs Asia’s Tallest Turbines, Whilst Stepping Up Integration

Siemens Gamesa has set a new record in Asia by installing this year the tallest wind turbines on the continent. The turbines are equipped with 153-metre tall towers, and with the 56-metre blades, they reach a total height of 210 metres. Presently, a major focus for the company is the integration of the entities of Siemens and Gamesa. This has the objective of realising the new company’s substantial potential, thanks to its bigger scale and global reach: a presence in more than 90 countries, an installed base of 75 GW, and an order book of €21bn.

August 14th 2017
Offshore Wind Drives 6.1 GW Of European Wind Installations In First Half Of 2017

6.1 GW of extra wind energy capacity was installed in Europe in the first half of 2017, according to figures released by WindEurope. The figure puts Europe on course for a bumper year for installations, although hides some worrying trends. WindEurope Chief Policy Officer, Pierre Tardieu, said: “We are on track for a good year in wind capacity installations but growth is driven by a handful of markets. At least ten EU countries have yet to install a single MW so far this year. Although this won’t translate into lower installations for another few years, the industry needs clarity on volumes for the post-2020 period to maintain the current cost reduction trend”.