Solar panel manufacturer Waaree Energies has raised about Rs 1,000 crore from high net-worth individuals and family offices to expand production capacity for solar modules and venture into solar cell manufacturing, however, the company did not disclose the names of the investors.
Hitesh Mehta, CFO of the company said, “Most of the capital has been received from the private players and family offices. Even the promoters of the company put in additional amount. Around 90 per cent of the investment is from private investors and 10 per cent from the promoters.”
He added, “Investments usually come for the renewable generation business and not equipment manufacturing. This is the first time that private investors have put in money into a company for manufacturing in India. ” The company will also explore options to raise debt to fund its expansion plans.
The company said that the fund will be used to increase the solar module production from 5 gigawatt (GW) to 9 GW by March 2023. It also intend to foray solar cells manufacturing by September 2023. Waaree has acquired 100 acres of land to set up a new facility at Chikhli in Navsari district of Gujarat. The firm claims that the plant will have production capacity of 7 GW solar modules and 5.4 GW of solar cell.
Solar modules and cells have been in high demand, but supplies have been limited in India. The Centre announced in March 2021 a 40% basic customs duty on solar modules and a 25% duty on solar cells, effective 1 April 2022. The decision to raise duties was consistent with the government's policy of reducing reliance on imports, particularly from China, and encouraging domestic production.
Mehta said the demand supply mismatch persists and will ease once capacities are added in the next 12-18 months. The company exports 20-24 per cent of its production, mostly to Europe, Africa and Gulf countries. He said the company will look at maintaining exports at similar levels and may also consider partnering with interested firms in other countries.
Waaree recently signed a green hydrogen agreement with Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India and DSE Consortium Germany. The three companies will establish an assembly line to produce electrolyzers and polysilicon, according to the MoU (memorandum of understanding). In addition, the company is working to diversify into green hydrogen production and battery storage solutions.
With the push for green energy and the government's commitment to establishing 500 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2070, investments in the renewable energy sector have gained traction.