Looking at the rapid pace of solar energy installations across India, one wonders what it would take for a city to be at the heart of it all. Is there such a city in India coveted by solar firms as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)? Yes, and one has to look no further than the capital city of the leading solar state Karnataka for the answer. India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore, is also quickly transforming into a hub for all sorts of renewable energy companies which are driving India’s clean energy push. Over the past year, an increasing number of foreign firms have opened their offices in Bangalore and suburbs, adding to an existing renewable energy ecosystem which includes many established as well as upcoming indigenous firms.
Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company and microinverter supplier, opened its first Indian research and development (R&D) center in Bangalore in December 2017. Looking to expand its footprint in India, in April 2017, SolarEdge, a developer of PV inverters, power optimizers, and module-level monitoring services, also opened its India office in Bangalore.
Then in October 2017, TUV Rheinland India, a subsidiary of TUV Rheinland Group, a training, inspection, consulting, and certification company based in Germany, expanded its footprint in India with the opening of a €2.5 million (~₹192.6 million) facility in Bangalore to test solar PV and other technologies.
In August 2017, the Finnish environmental and industrial measurement company Vaisala, through its subsidiary 3TIER India, added new personnel to its staff and relocated to a new, larger headquarters in Bangalore as it responded to steadily growing demand for its renewable energy services and measurement equipment in the Indian wind and solar sectors.
Major Private Renewable Energy Firms in Bangalore
Adani Green Energy is involved in developing solar and wind power projects across India. The firm is also one of the largest domestic manufacturers of solar cells and modules in India.
Tata Power Solar is involved in developing solar and rooftop solar PV projects. The firm is also one of the tier one module manufacturers in India.
HHV Solar is a part of SWELECT group of companies having manufacturing facility of solar modules since 2008.
KotakSolar is one of India’s oldest solar companies involved in the manufacture of solar module and provides EPC and O&M services.
TUV Rheinland is focused in lab testing and certification of products across the renewable energy sector. It will play a pivotal role in ensuring the quality of Indian solar projects over time.
Enphase Energy is an inverter manufacturer and supplier. It supplies microinverters for solar projects in India. Enphase plans to support this rapid growth with its Bangalore R&D center, where it will offer employment opportunities for engineering, operations, marketing, sales, and customer support personnel to meet the needs of its customers worldwide.
Sungrow also manufactures inverters for solar projects. The firm has plans to manufacture both string and central inverters at its Bangalore facility. The company wants to turn this into a major hub for Sungrow’s international business.
Delta Power Solutions provides central, string and hybrid inverters and monitoring solutions for the solar and wind industries. Headquartered in Taiwan their India operations are managed from their Bangalore office.
ABB is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. In India, in the renewable energy space, ABB is an inverter supplier for solar and wind projects, and developer of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Vaisala provides renewable energy services and measurement equipment to solar and wind project developers. The company plans to increase regional sales and production capabilities, further enhancing its end-to-end resource risk management services for Indian renewable energy developers, operators, and investors.
Emmvee manufactures solar modules and develops solar projects. The company also provides engineering procurement and construction (EPC) services to other firms operating in the renewable energy sector.
Avi Solar provides rooftop and large-scale solar project EPC and O&M services. They also have an indigenous real-time solar assets monitoring system. Construction of micro-grids is another service they offer.
Ayana Renewable was formed by UK’s development finance institution, CDC group, to develop renewable energy projects in India and its neighboring countries in South Asia, namely Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Enerparc India is a subsidiary of the German company Enerparc AG, and is focused on providing EPC services for large-scale and rooftop solar projects.
DataGlen established in 2015, the company was founded with a vision to bring new-age IoT solutions that can enable enterprises to monitor, manage and optimize their assets. Their remote monitoring solutions work to support multiple energy applications such as solar asset management, generation management, and storage optimization.
Sensehawk uses data from autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It combines different kinds of UAVs, sensor, data processing, and planning chains aimed at creating decision making tools that drive productivity in large-scale solar projects.
TMEIC provides utility-scale solar inverters, power plant controllers and solar energy storage solutions.
Orb Energy provides solar rooftop installation and solar water heating services. Their focus is on small and medium-sized enterprises. They also offer in-house finance facilities with extended payment terms to commercial and industrial customers. The company also has a module manufacturing facility.
Promptec Renewable Energy Solutions a Havells Group Company, offers LED lighting, solar lighting and power electronics solutions. Promptec has a full-fledged research and development (R&D) center to develop innovative LED products and customized LED products based on customer specifications.
RenewSys is one of the leading integrated manufacturers of Solar PV modules and its key components like – Encapsulants (EVA & POE), backsheets, and solar PV cells. Renewsys also has a solar component manufacturing facility in Bangalore. The facility boasts production capacity of 1.2 GW Encapsulants i.e. EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) and POE (polyolefin elastomer), while for backsheets the capacity is 3 GW.
Bangalore is well known for its numerous engineering and science colleges and has a huge pool of willing and skilled young professionals, the first major resource any company needs. Moreover, being the IT capital of India, the start-up culture is also hot in Bangalore. Consequently, it has a large base of skilled professionals, waiting for the right opportunity to take a career leap.
The city is well-connected to other industrial hubs of India through a vast network of roads and railway network. It is also close to one of the largest Indian ports, Mangalore. Apart from its strategic location which facilitates the process of becoming the hub for growth of renewables, successive state governments have paid close attention to the expansion of renewable energy.
Bangalore is close in proximity to Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, other major hubs in the country.
Talking to Mercom, many in the industry reiterated that the growth and rise of IT firms in Bangalore, in spite of the lack of infrastructural development, puts the city in a positive light for many investors and companies who are first timers in India. Bangalore has been the base for Mercom India’s operations since the end of 2009. Bangalore’s cosmopolitan culture and weather is an added attraction that has always lured new companies and job seekers alike.
Image credit: Saisumanth Javvaji – Own work via CC BY-SA 4.0 from Wikimedia Commons
This articles has been updated with an additional company information
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.