Trina Solar is seeing strong momentum in India’s commercial and industrial (C&I) segment as it approaches its 4GW of installed capacity milestone there.

Gaurav Mathur, Trina Solar India director, says the 4GW milestone will likely be reached in the next few months and is testament to the strong relationships Trina Solar’s sales team has developed with customers.

“Local knowledge and relationships are as important to the customer, as it is to us. This is how we have become India’s number one supplier of PV modules,” says Mathur.

He says last year there was a shake-up in the Indian market, with some tier-two solar module manufacturers effectively exiting the market due to fierce price competition for utility-scale projects.

But overall there is strong awareness in the Indian market for the benefits of solar as a: clean, reliable and cost-effective source of energy.

Mathur says Indian (C&I) businesses are particularly keen and generally require 50-500kWp; installations. Solar is proving to be very popular with Indian companies in the: textile, pharmaceutical, chemical, logistics and information technology industries, he adds.

C&I customers are drawn to solar energy because it is cheaper than using electricity from the grid, says Mathur, adding that it very feasible for these companies, as they either have ample roof-space or ample land, as these businesses are usually on the city outskirts.

Some C&I customers pay to have a solar system installed, while there are others that sign a long-term electricity user contract with an energy supplier that then pays for the solar system in return for the resulting revenues.

Mathur says: “Indian consumers are always price savvy, but they are also concerned about quality. Owners and financers of solar installations are now looking more to tier-one manufacturers like us, because we have the reputation, warranties and bankability ratings that promise profitability in solar investments,” he says.

Financiers and investors in solar projects look at the costs over the long-term, says Mathur. While they may skip add-ons like trackers, they will refrain from compromising on module quality, he says.

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