“It Just Happened to be Perfect Timing”



pv magazine: It was recently announced that Nextracker has passed the 2 GW cumulative project milestone in Australia, how is 2018 shaping up for you?

Right now, we have more than a dozen in review, we have done almost 2 GW to date, and we’re hoping to do better than last year. Our pipeline is as robust as one year ago. We ended up closing 1.3 GW in 2017. So, [before last year] we had five projects in the ground already, with 100 MW deployed.

Looking forward, however, there must be some challenges with the current policy deadlock and what we’re hearing about grid constraints. What is your feeling for the way things will pan out for you?

It’s hard to say. With the policy and the ways things are going, it’s difficult to make predictions. The RET is pretty-much achieved, and there aren’t more subsidies driving the market. But I am seeing bigger and bigger jobs are coming in – they’re funded and the money is there.

The constraining factor is the grid capacity. We all know the Marginal Loss Factors (MLF) of the projects that are put on the same kV line is a really big factor. If there are too many projects on the line, then basically it bottlenecks the whole thing. That means they are not getting the energy that they have modeled because they didn’t put in those things to suck the power down – and that is a developer issue.

So, we’re essentially seeing grid curtailment. Is that a result of a lack of end demand or grid capacity?

Either there is not enough capacity, I don’t know about demand – my feeling is that it is there – but the amount of juice being put on the grid is one of the issues. That is where the storage piece, like batteries,  is going to offset that issue. What needs to be figured out is how to get the storage balanced with the solar.

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