ABB opens new inverter fab in India, doubles domestic production capacity

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Switzerland’s ABB, which makes inverters for the solar industry, has today inaugurated a second inverter fab in India, in the city of Bengaluru that will double the firm’s production capacity in the country.

Last year it was revealed that ABB inverters handled half of India’s 4 GW installed solar PV capacity, highlighting the large market share the company has in this dynamic solar market. Today, India’s cumulative installed capacity is around 8 GW, of which approximately 6.5 GW is utility-scale solar – chiefly powered by central inverters.

Up to now, ABB had supplied its central inverters to the Indian solar market from just one production facility at Nelamanagala, Belanguru. The company estimates that around 40% of utility-scale solar plants in India are powered by an ABB central inverter, which works out at an installed base of close to 2.65 GW. While ABB did not confirm to pv magazine the size of this new inverter fab, it is estimated to be around 2.5 GW in size.

The central inverters that will be built at the new fab are ABB’s PVS800 central inverter series, which can be as large as 2 MW, as well as ABB’s string inverter series, which range from 2 kW to 50 kW and are ideal for the country’s growing rooftop solar market.

"ABB, a global leader in solar inverter technology, has been powering solar projects across the country spanning the entire solar PV chain, a key component of which has been our solar inverter technology made in India," said ABB India CEO and MD, Sanjeev Sharma. "The government’s vision has provided the required catalyst and focus for clean energy and ABB is proud to partner this journey."

Sharma added that the inauguration of ABB’s second inverter production hub in India was indicative of the firm’s "commitment to cater to country-specific solutions and enhance our manufacturing presence."

The government’s vision of which Sharma speaks is the 100 GW solar goal by 2022, driven by the National Solar Mission. A mix of public and private initiatives are being shaped and sought as India plows headlong towards this ambitious goal. If successful, solar PV would meet 7% of India’s energy demand by 2022 – which may not sound like a lot, but for a nation of 1.3 billion that would be quite an achievement.