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Suzlon finally gets its skin into the solar game, wins some projects in South India

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Suzlon has been making a royal song and dance about getting into the solar industry in India. The company which is one of the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines and is a large wind farm developer in India had fallen into hard times. Its massive debt burden had pushed the company into the brink of bankruptcy, before a huge fund infusion from India’s largest pharma company owner got it back into the reckoning. While India’s wind energy continues to chug along at around 2-3 GW per year, the real action has shifted to the solar energy sector which is projected to grow from around 1 GW in 2014 to 10 GW by 2017. Suzlon has realized the government priorities and has set up a team to look into solar farm opportunities. However, the vicious competition in India’s solar development space has meant that Suzlon has not won much capacity in the recent large scale grid size solar tenders. Being new at this game, Suzlon has found itself sidelined.

Its CEO Tulsi Tanti has said that 2016 will be the year when Suzlon gets its act together in the solar industry. It plans to utilize its wind farms to put up solar panels as well, given that land is a major constraint for the growth of solar energy. While Suzlon continues to tout about its long renewable energy experience with strong execution, financing and operations abilities, it has not done much. Also its wind energy operations are not doing too great with upstarts like Inox Wind taking away market share from Suzlon in its home turf. Suzlon has also retrenched from global wind turbine markets with the sale of Senvion. Note Vestas and Gamesa have recovered extremely well from the global wind turbine industry downturn with record profits and margins. However, Suzlon stock languishes at around the INR 20 level, which is 95% down its peak price reached during 2008.

Suzlon has announced that it has won around 10% of the capacity, bid out by the southern state of Telangana almost 6 months ago. The company has won 6 projects in various places across that state, marking its first major entry into the solar farm space. However, profitability is a question giving the tight bidding. Note Telengana is not considered as a great state to invest in, given the fickle nature of the ruling political party and its antagonistic approach to the central government. So these wins are not a big feather in the cap of Suzlon. However, it is the first major capacity win for Suzlon and will help boost the management’s confidence. But whether Suzlon will make a mark in India’s hypercompetitive solar industry remains to be seen.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Rajendra

    Please give some granular details in your Blog. Tell the Tariffs they quoted and others to make sense of where they are going? it is too generic and more about Suzlon and its woes than how it will succeed through Solar. Solar has become so competitive that it is now won by Big Corporates on the basis of accessing low interest rate funding. Will Suzlon get this as they are already under lot of lender scrutiny? Please discuss some of these issues as well.