XL upbeat on European solar power market
Hyderabad-based XL Telecom & Energy Ltd is upbeat on the
prospects of developing solar power projects in Europe. It very recently set up
a 1.6-mw solar power plant at Majorca in Spain, making it the first Indian
company to set up a solar project on foreign soil.
Speaking to Projectmonitor, K. Vasudeva Rao, Executive Director, XL Telecom &
Energy Ltd, said that it marked the beginning of an eventual target of setting
up 300-mw of solar power capacity in European countries, including Spain, Italy
and France, among others.
The Majorca plant, set up with an investment of €9.5 million (around Rs 62 crore)
is expected to generate revenues of €19 million in its initial life. The plant
will be owned and operated by Saptashva Solar S.L., a wholly-owned subsidiary of
XL incorporated in Spain. The new plant has also resulted in XL Telecom & Energy
achieving full integration in the solar power business; from solar panels to
modules to power generation.
Maintaining that Europe had a very high potential for solar power projects, Rao
said that this was also matched by attractive incentives offered. In Spain, for
instance, incentives for solar power generation could be as high as Rs 26 per
kwh (Indian equivalent), he explained.
When asked if the current global slowdown would affect XL's fund raising for
overseas projects, Rao said that the situation was not "that bad," albeit
admitting that the pace of project implementation would depend on how quickly
financial closure is achieved.
Besides setting up solar power plants through Saptashva, XL is also supplying
solar panels to other solar power developers in Europe. As of March this year,
XL's order book stood at Rs 675 crore, mainly catering to European countries. XL
Telecom would be the EPC contractor for all solar power projects developed by
Saptashva, besides undertaking the EPC works for other developers, Rao
Discussing plans of developing solar power projects in India, Rao said that the
current incentive scheme announced by the ministry for new and renewable energy
for grid-connected solar power plants was not "very attractive" and also lacked
clarity. "Our immediate focus would be the European market," he said.
To support the growing demand for solar panels, XL has invested $75 million in
setting up a 120-mw solar cell manufacturing plant in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
The plant is expected to operate at full capacity by December this year, Rao
[October 20-26, 2008]