The facility is being built by Sri Kiran Technologies, the landowner, as a “build to suit” lease agreement and will be ready to be occupied in March 2015. The ongoing operation will be funded through WSTI’s newly formed $2 million dollar Joint Venture with West Coast Ventures/Deepan Group. WindStream expects to see the first SolarMill products available from this new factory in early Q2 2015 and will service the India market to start. With greater than 400 million people who live without grid supplied energy and the India government aggressively moving to provide electricity to rural India, the Company expects to see great demand for the SolarMill products.
“The India market is huge and the need for clean renewable energy is insatiable,” said Dan Bates, President of WindStream. “As a result of Prime Minister Modi’s recently announced initiative to add 1KW of power to over 400 million rooftops, our new product, the SM1-2P, which we had coincidentally labeled “A Kilowatt in a Box” looks to be the perfect solution for his initiative,” added Bates. “As we looked at this market as a global opportunity, it became very clear to the Company that India may be the largest single market we have on our plate and the funded JV gives us the needed capital to rapidly execute on our India business plan.”
The Company expects to produce a minimum of 5000 SolarMills in 2015 and see that number increase as process and procedures are refined and improved upon. The base price for the India-made SolarMill is yet to be established but without shipping, duties and logistics cost added, the product will compete or beat solar-only installations on a cost per watt basis. Using U.S. based pricing models and margins, the Company estimates that the first year of production could potentially realize $20 – $30 million dollars in revenue. This estimate is based on U.S. pricing and may differ from the final end price of the units manufactured and sold in India.
A driving factor behind the Company’s decision to build the facility in India was not only to reduce cost, but to have a product that has an “India Made” certification allowing the SolarMill to benefit from generous Government Subsidies for renewable energy technologies. “WindStream already has significant sales traction and expressions of interest for the SolarMill products throughout the country and many of our customers are just waiting for a date that we will be able to provide them with the Indian product. I expect that within a few months after launching the facility and securing the needed certifications we will be sold out of product for 2015,” said Venkat Kumar Tangirala, President of WindStream S. Asia.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.