In Conversation with, Mr. Dinesh Jagdale, Director & CEO, Panama Wind Energy
- What is current installed capacity of your company and How has been your journey so far?
Panama Renewable Energy Group is one of the leading Independent Power Producers (IPP) in the Indian renewable energy sector. Panama Renewable Energy Group, through its Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV’s), has commissioned 152 MW of Wind Power Projects along with 10 MW of Solar PV Power Project under Open Access Mechanism and has over 300 GW of wind power projects under various phases of development across major windy states of India.
With a Mission to Transform the Way India Produces Power from Renewable Energy Panama Renewable Energy Group commenced its journey in the Renewable Space in 2012. The First 72 MW Wind Power capacity was commissioned in early 2014 followed by Commissioning of further 80 MW Wind Power capacity in Oct 2014 taking the size of the operational fleet to 152 MW’s. The cumulative portfolio has injected over 1 Billion Units of Clean Renewable Energy in to the State Grid.
In 2017, Panama Renewable Energy Group expanded in to Solar Sector and has just commissioned its first 10 MW Solar Photovoltaic Project built for the Offtake under the Open Access Mechanism. This is the first Wind Solar Hybrid Project Commissioned in the State of Maharashtra wherein 80 MW Wind & 10 MW Solar are Evacuating Power at the Same Pooling Substation and use the same Transmission System. An additional 10 MW Solar PV Project is under construction and will go live during the first Quarter of CY 2018.
The group also has marked its footprint on the Roof Top Solar PV Sector focussing largely on the Commercial & Industrial Sector (C & I) and the work has already commenced for a project capacity in excess of 5 MWp.
The journey so far has been quite exciting yet challenging especially on account of regulatory uncertainties along with the challenges you face on ground during construction of these renewable energy projects. We commenced our journey with a small Passionate team to create a land mark in the renewable space by truly adopting to build State of the Art Green Field Projects focussing on Quality of delivery & Efficiencyin operations. During this progress we partnered with Global leading WTG OEMs for our wind projects. With our recent expansion into Solar (PV) Sector, we continue to build our projects using the Same Strategy & utilising the in-house capabilities that are brought by a highly motivated & passionate Team of over 40+ Professionals.
- What is your current order book position and what are the projects that you are currently bidding for?
Just to translate your question in to a relevant metric we are working on 124 MW of Wind Power projects which are shovel ready &are ready for commencement of Constructiononce the next phase of Reverse Bidding Regime is initiated.Few projects that have secured PPA are also under Due Diligence for acquisition. Further as already explained above we are also working on Solar PV Projects both Ground Mounted & Roof Top Mounted and expect to expand the Solar Portfolio from the Existing 10 MW to 100 MW within a period of one year fully focussing on C & I segment.
- What is the impact of Reverse bidding on the wind energy sector?
Competitive bidding in the wind power segment has replaced the earlier feed-in tariffs where a fixed price was ensured for power producers, may put temporary pressure on wind sector players, but will have positive impact in the long term.
The first wind auction conducted in February led to a fall in tariff to ₹3.46 per unit — down 16.8 per cent from the lowest prevailing feed-in tariff of ₹4.16 among the windy States. Hence, the cost of wind power is close to achieving grid parity. Moreover, with wind power tariff dropping, non-wind generating States may be interested in procuring wind power from “windy” States by laying down transmission lines which will overall increase the demand and off-take for wind projects.
Bidding mechanism in the longer term shall create a more transparent and competitive industryas the tariffs are determined based on developers’ analysis of location, counter-party risks, wind conditions and other project-specific factors as well as company’s abilities to do financial engineering.The pressures on the revenue side are expected to be balanced by the cost benefits accruing from technological improvements, increasing PLF’s, execution efficiencies and enforceable payment security mechanism.
But off course currently due to slow progress in the Bidding process the overall Growth in the Wind Sector in India has dropped considerably leading to huge over supply issues affecting the OEM’s a large way. This also has put pressure on the Employment Growth in the Sector. IPP’s have distanced themselves from the Wind Sector and are closely observing the GOI’s initiatives & unless drastic steps are taken in increasing the overall Electricity Demand the Wind Sector will continue to struggle for its existence.
- What are your growth plans for next couple of years?
As explained above we are totally committed to deliver projects focussed on Quality of delivery & Efficiency during operations. We have build a very robust Data Centre “Battlefield” focusing on use of data analytics for improvement in Performance. Our growth plans are built around a robust pipeline of projects that will cater to a diversified off take arrangements that include the Classic SECI/State Bids, Open Access/Group Captive offtake as well as the Solar Roof Top avenues across pan India.
- Would you like to add anything else about the wind sector?
Wind Sector is going through a Transformative Stage from a Feed-In-Tariff Regime to a Competitive Reverse Bidding Mechanism. To be competitive and sustain its existence the sector now has to create an optimum value across the entire Supply Chain. While Technology for better CUF’s should not be a constraint the Sector will have to create a robust mechanism for delivery of Wind Power by indulging themselves with the regulators, State Load Operators to increase the penetration of wind energy in to the Grid. Once the SLDC’s are able to manage the variability, both across years and seasonally within a year, Wind will increase its acceptability and the growth forecast of addition of 4000 MW every year over the next five years will be a reality.
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