- RIL Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani’s AGM speech revealed plans to enter power electronics manufacturing with a giga fab
- It will link the entire value chain of green energy, he said pointing at the 4 gigafactories the company has already announced for solar PV, energy storage, green hydrogen and fuel cell systems
- The company is targeting 10 GW solar PV cell and module fab at Jamnagar to enter production by 2024 and will be scaled up to 20 GW by 2026 in phases, based on REC Solar’s technology
- Other plans include extending the life of modules to 50 years and enter into glass and POE film production
- 20 GW solar energy generation capacity will be installed by 2025 to be entirely used for the captive needs of RTC power and intermittent energy for green hydrogen
Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has revealed plans to launch a new Giga Factory for Power Electronics in addition to those already announced for solar PV, energy storage, green hydrogen and fuel cell systems, to link the entire value chain of green energy.
In his address to the company shareholders during RIL’s 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently, Ambani explained, “We are building significant capabilities in design and manufacturing of power electronics and software systems, integrating with our capabilities of Telecommunications, Cloud Computing and IoT platform. We will build this through partnerships with leading global players to provide most affordable solutions, meeting global standards of performance, safety, and reliability.”
In June 2021, Ambani had announced plans to build 4 Giga Fabs at Dhirubai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex in Jamnagar, Gujarat including one for a vertically integrated solar PV fab that will house production for all parts of the value chain—from raw silica to high efficiency modules (see Indian Billionaire Wants 4 New Energy Gigafactories).
The company owns Norwegian solar module maker REC Solar that’s expanding its current ‘1.2 GW annual module production capacity to 1.8 GW in Singapore’. It also won EU funds for a 2 GW factory in France (see REC Group’s French Plans Win EU Funding). Based on REC’s HJT technology, RIL’s 10 GW solar PV cell and module fab at Jamnagar will commence production by 2024, and scaled up to 20 GW by 2026 in a phased manner.
“This will be first of its kind of ‘quartz-to-module’ facility globally – from quartz, to metallurgical silicon, to polysilicon, to ingots/wafers – and integrate them with cells and modules,” said Ambani. “We have a defined improvement roadmap to stay ahead, targeting to increase the HJT module efficiency to 26% by 2026 from the current 23%, and further improving it to 28% through innovations like perovskite-tandem cell technology.”
The Indian conglomerate also aims to extend the life of PV modules from 25 to 50 years. Currently, Maxeon Solar Technologies offers 40-year warranty for its IBC solar modules (see IBC Solar Panels With Impressive 40-Year Warranty).
RIL will also invest in glass and POE film manufacturing which have ‘natural synergies with our Chemical and Materials business’, he added. This will provide supply security, unparalleled cost advantage, and ability to capture chain margins with maximum recycling.
In addition, RIL will be establishing 20 GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2025 to be entirely used for the captive needs of round-the-clock (RTC) power and intermittent energy for green hydrogen. “Once proven at scale, we are prepared to double the investment to scale up our manufacturing ecosystem,” the company added.
For battery packs, production is planned to start by 2023, and scale up to fully integrated 5 GWh annual cell to pack manufacturing facility by 2024, and further up to 50 GWh annually by 2027.
“Most importantly, Reliance aspires to make India a world leader in new energy manufacturing and a credible alternative to China. Of course, we have a long way to go,” said Ambani. “The work done over the past one year gives me immense confidence that we will make this ambition a reality in the shortest possible time.”
RIL is undertaking these initiatives through its New Energy Division which is now being led by Ambani’s youngest son Anant Ambani.
The complete speech of RIL Chairman and Managing Director to the shareholders is available on RIL’s website.