Hydropower, Project Development, Solar, Utility Scale

Suniva Cells Power 3 MW Project in India

Suniva Inc. announced the commissioning of its largest solar power installation with Titan Energy Systems Ltd., located in Karnataka, India. The 3-megawatt (MW), ground-mounted system is the largest grid-connected solar project in India, covering more than 12 acres.

The system was designed and deployed by Titan and is owned and operated by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd., one of India’s largest power providers. Karnataka Power will distribute power generated by the system to local farmers for irrigation purposes. Founded in the year 1800, Karnataka Power is one of the most established power providers in India.

In addition to this solar project, Karnataka Power owns a number of renewable power plants, including the country’s first hydroelectric power station (opened in 1902) and one of India’s first wind power projects. Titan designed the 3-MW solar project incorporating Suniva’s high-efficiency ARTisun series solar cells while providing engineering, procurement and construction services.

“This project exemplifies Titan’s ability to execute large scale solar projects quickly and cost-effectively, which are key measures of success in rapidly growing solar markets like India,” said John Baumstark, CEO of Suniva. “As we continue to increase solar cell and module efficiency and reduce costs, our customers will benefit from higher performance in large-scale applications.”

In November 2009, the Indian government approved a National Solar Mission, which aims to deploy at least 20GW of solar projects by 2020. This strategic initiative is part of the country’s plan to provide power to millions of citizens lacking access to energy sources, as well as to combat climate change. Over the next five years, Titan plans to develop a series of large-scale projects and installations in Andhra Pradesh, India, using Suniva’s technology.

Suniva’s founder, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi was recently awarded RenewableEnergyWorld.com’s Excellence in Renewable Energy Award for his three decades of work to advance solar technology, specifically the low-cost cells that Suniva is now producing on a commercial scale for the world solar market. The company was also honored last week by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) when it received the bank’s Green Transaction of the Year award.

Suniva used a US $2 million Ex-Im Bank short-term multi-buyer insurance policy to offer a $500,000 credit line to a customer in India to buy its solar equipment, and has a number of other potential export deals in the pipeline. The company plans to expand its U.S. facilities and add U.S. jobs to meet growing demand.

Seventy of its 130 employees were hired in the past year in an area that has been hard-hit by manufacturing plant closures. New Suniva employees were hired from closed auto company plants in Atlanta as well as other shuttered companies. Approximately 23 percent of its employees are military veterans.