IBC SOLAR AG, specialiced in photovoltaic systems, has started to construct a 5.5 MW photovoltaic (PV) plant in Bhadla, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Bhadla marks the first megawatt plant in India that the company is realising as an EPC contractor (engineering, procurement, construction) in cooperation with its local subsidiary. Being responsible for the overall project management, IBC SOLAR ensures continuous quality control, including final certification by TÜV Rheinland.
In India, IBC SOLAR has already realised five projects with a total capacity of 18 MW. Thanks to the company’s global experience of over 30 years, the new investor can rely on the best possible German quality standards and high cost efficiency. India is one of the most promising PV markets in the world with over 300 days of sunshine per year. The 5.5 MW plant in Bhadla is located in the federal state of Rajasthan, in the district of Jodhpur, close to the Pakistan border.
The arid surroundings make project execution a topographically and logistically demanding task, as the next available connection to public train transportation is more than one hour’s drive away, the next airport almost a four hour’s drive. The construction site is part of a bigger area reserved by the government of Rajasthan for PV installations and leased to several investors. “The project in Bhadla is our first time working together with IBC SOLAR and its local subsidiary, which we know from their previous activities in the Indian market. We decided to co-operate with a German EPC contractor who could offer us reliable bank guarantees and optimal project management whilst having the necessary knowledge of our business culture,” says Shreeyash Bangur, Director of LNB Renewable Energy (LN Bangur Group).
The challenging climatic and soil conditions in Bhadla require a custom-made technical solution: IBC SOLAR used special under-reamed fundaments to fit the needs of the loose sandy soil. Preparing the site for further construction steps, the ground had to be levelled, freed from desert vegetation and compacted. Decentralised string inverters are to be installed directly under the modules to utilise the shadow provided by the installation and to protect the components from sand and heat. The same concept will be employed for the cabling, which also has to be extremely resilient to minimise the loss of power.
“Only high quality PV plants yield the best return for investors. With extensive expertise along the entire value chain, IBC SOLAR can guarantee the maximum performance ratio of PV installations, thus giving customers peace of mind,” says Reinhard Ling, Business Manager at IBC SOLAR Projects Private Limited in Mumbai. “Our goal is not only to deliver the highest German engineering standards, but also to ensure an effective transfer of knowledge, especially in emerging markets like India. For this reason, we are including as many local workers and specialists as possible in the construction phase in Bhadla.”
Due to the remote location of the plant, several safety measures have been installed: the site is completely enclosed by a wall and under surveillance day and night, not only in the construction but also in the operation phase. Furthermore, the government of Rajasthan is building an extra grid substation (GSS) for the whole area for proper connection to the power grid, while IBC SOLAR, as the EPC contractor, ensures the feed-in at medium voltage level. As a further proof of quality, independent consultants from the German organisation TÜV Rheinland will be assigned to examine the plant for the best possible outcome and maximum security according to the international standard certificate IEC 62446. In addition to this, IBC SOLAR’s German site managers are also certified as “Authorised Experts for Photovoltaic Equipment” by the TÜV Rheinland. The plant is expected to be completed in June 2014.