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An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Li Jianfei (VP & CTO)

2021-4-26

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1) How many inverters have you supplied to India till now, what is the target/expectation in this year and next year?

We have supplied more than 3GW inverters as of 2021.Though 2020 was a bit slower than the predictions made by industry specialists due to the pandemic, but Sineng is expecting a large pipeline of projects to spur the return to growth. We have shipped over 500MW inverters in the first quarter of 2021 and more than 1 GW projects contract have been signed.


2) Please share your roadmaps – pricing, technology etc...

Constant innovation and optimization at product level is the only way to exist in the present competitive environment. Market has seen some stability in solar tariffs. We are expecting the same in inverter price. At the moment, the prices have reached to a level where if further drop happens it will be a threat for the industry. However, we are committed to bring out the solutions which can optimize the project cost for the customers.

In recent years, we have seen that market moved from small block size to 6.5/12.5MW block size and 1000V to 1500V. Presently, our R&D team is working on higher voltage solution than 1500V for the future. Storage is also going to happen at big scale in near future. We have been providing DC/AC coupled PCS and integrated solutions in China and Korea market. Sineng is one of the few companies who manufactures both central and string inverters. Our string inverter technology is already mature and have been extensively adopted by Chinese customers. We have started to promote it worldwide. Expectedly, our string inverter has been able to turn customer’s attention and that’s why, we are going to set up production lines for string inverter by the Q3, 2021 in India manufacturing base. In 2020, we have added a new string model (SP-275K-INH) in our string inverter product line which gives an ease to design array with larger wafer 210 mm high power module. The maximum current for each string input of this inverter is 20A.On the other side, Sineng is also working to come up with higher capacity compact central inverter solutions in near future.  


3) Kindly enlighten our readers on the performance of your inverters in India in various geographic locations?

Sineng has served all-round the solar industry by associating with almost all major key players in the market namely Softbank, Spring, Mahindra, ACME, Renew, AZURE, AVAADA, ADANI, L&T, ENRICH etc. We have a total of 3 GW+ supply record in India. Clients has adopted Sineng 1500V outdoor central inverter solutions in all geographic location such as Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Punjab etc.  

 

4) What is the size of your company in terms of manufacturing capacities and future expansion plans?

Sineng Electric was founded in March, 2012; and acquired fortune 500 listed company Emerson’s PV business in 2014. We have inherited the entire R&D, production, service and management personnel from Emerson which helped us become one of the top five inverter manufacturer in a short time. By virtue of cutting edge high-quality products, better performance and competitive price, Sineng Electric has achieved the recognition of capital market in last successive years. Consequently, it has been listed as a public company on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) in April, 2020.

At present, the annual production capacity of China manufacturing base is 12GW and India manufacturing base is 3GW. To meet exponentially increased demand due to the vigorous development of the global PV market, we will increase the production capacity of China and India manufacturing base to 20GW and 10 GW in Q3 of 2021, respectively. At the same time, Sineng Electric will continuously expand the international market and beef up its core business in coming years. As a part of the expansion plan, Spain branch for Europe market and Dubai branch for MNEA market will start its full operation in May, 2021 to better serve the customers in the respected areas in terms of spare parts and after-sales services along with collaboration, cooperation and communication etc.


5) What are your views on inverters – Make in India?

Sineng realized the future potential of Indian solar market at the earliest. In Bangalore, our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is one of the implementations of that realization. At the moment, it spreads across 38082 square feet area and can produce 3 GW inverters annually. We were, and are very passionate to contribute to the “Make in India” and bring success to the goal.


6) What are the opportunities and challenges in manufacturing in India?

Investing in domestic manufacturing reflects the company’s stable and long term plans. With the increasing market share, it was a natural choice to set up a localized factory in India. And, it has been helping us with production planning and forecasting efficiently which, in return, help us reduce the lead time. Thus, we are able to serve our clients timely.

We acknowledge that there were many challenges we had faced in the beginning. Skilled manpower was the crucial challenge. To overcome this, we regularly organized internal training and skill competition program. It not only helped our employees to accomplish the company goal, but also achieve their career prospects. Now, we confident that we can provide our clients with localized quality product in time.  

The other challenge is sourcing of the components. The supply chain of power electronics components has been evolving in India and is still in its infancy stage. Currently, we are using local components which meet quality requirements. Hopefully, we could increase the local sourcing quantity in the near future.

 

7) What are the top 5 markets for your company in the past, present and future?

Prior to discussing Sineng’s focus market, it is worth first mentioning the state of the play of current and forthcoming market. The Asia Pacific region saw significant growth in its contribution to renewable energy (RNEs), thanks in no small part of China, India and Vietnam’s meteoric rise. Asia Pacific (APAC), led by China, is predicted by IHS and other data powerhouses to remain the largest regional market of PV installation in the future. The “Rest of APAC” region -Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Japan and others is being driven by strong growth in utility-scale (>5 MW) installations. Therefore, the company focus on already owned large market share APAC regions like-China, India and Vietnam will remain same, on the other hand, it has extended its focus on other regions like Middle East and Europe.  


8) Kindly comment on energy storage as a game changer, its technology, cost trends, etc…

There is great potential in the storage segment and that is why so many inverter players have entered this field. Storage options have now been applied to many different scenarios including ground-mounted PV stations, C&I projects and roof-top residential PV. For large-scale PV stations, storage can help shave peaks and improve power quality. For C&I projects, it can improve off-grid utilization. Storage technologies will allow for more reliable and flexible operation of the electricity distribution and transmission grids, enhancing electric power quality and making renewable energy user-friendly. The prices of lithium-ion batteries have fallen from $1,000 /kWh in the year 2010 to approx. $209/kWh in 2020. Bloomberg projections state that prices are set to decline to $100/kWh by 2025 and $75/kWh by 2030. So, there is still lots of potential and we expect the market to boom in the next few years. We saw the turning point coming last year and we know it’s just the beginning. Sineng has been offering its DC/AC coupled energy storage solution with various rating PCS. Our energy storage solutions have extensively been adopted in various place in China and Korea etc.  

 

9) Kindly highlight your product, technology and distinctive advantages etc…

Sineng is a technology driven company and therefore we strive to bring innovative solutions that can offer more competitive advantages in the form of more generation and BOS saving. Sineng have a wide range of central inverters, string inverter and energy storage solutions. Sineng product portfolio have below mentioned solutions for India market:

● 1500V 3125/2500 kW Central Inverter - Higher DC/AC ratio; Grid friendly; Low BOS cost.

● 1500V 250kW/275kW String Inverter - 20A input which suitably adopts 210mm wafer; 12 MPPTs, higher yield; Smart O&M; Cost effective.

● 1500V 2.5~3.465MW PCS and integrated solution- Highly integrated; Smart and friendly; Efficient and flexible.

 

10) Please describe in brief about your company's vision & mission?

Sineng lives by its motto of ‘Endless Energy for Limitless Green,’ to make the world a better place to live in by reducing the globe’s greenhouse emissions! Sineng Electric is a leading global high-tech enterprise specialized in renewables and has been pioneering inverter market with enormous amount of worldwide installed inverters. Being a “one stop solution provider” for solar inverters and energy storage, we have a broad product portfolio to meet the diversified needs of customers for residential, C&I and utility -scale applications. To ensure state-of-the-art technology and reliable products, the company possesses in-house testing center and a dynamic R&D team. As a product-focused company, Sineng always looks at its offerings and there is a zeal in us to make products and service betters. Sineng has been and will be holding on its mission “high quality is low cost” and thus will cope up with the evolving market.


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