Enphase Energy to Develop Its Biggest Microinverter-Based Solar Project in Karnataka

Microinverters can work in low-light conditions and are more suited to India’s harsh, dusty environment


Solar microinverter supplier Enphase Energy and solar module manufacturer Waaree Energies Ltd. have announced their 4.5 MW solar project installation in Hosapet, Karnataka.

The project will be the largest Enphase microinverter-based solar installation in the world, according to the company.

The project will be spread across 18 acres and is expected to generate more than 7,500 MWh of solar power annually. The power will be sold to businesses in Karnataka through short and long-term power purchase agreements.

The project will be powered by 13,235 Enphase Energy microinverters and an equal number of solar modules.

Installing microinverters is beneficial because of their ability to increase energy harvest by working in low, diffused light or shaded conditions. They are more suited to India’s harsh, dusty environment.

Microinverters are more reliable as they have the advantage of single-point tracking, so the entire system is not affected by a single failure. In the case of a fault, it is easier to diagnose a problem. Despite these advantages, the adoption of microinverters in the Indian solar industry has been negligible.

The main reason for this is its high initial cost. In a price-sensitive market like India, higher costs per watt can easily deter developers and installers to look for cheaper options. Installations can also be costly because each inverter needs to be installed in tandem with each solar panel. Thus, many companies have started manufacturing built-in microinverters.

In September 2017, Enphase and Waaree announced their partnership to develop AC solar modules for the Indian market.

Mercom recently reported that the choice of inverter type for EPC players and developers is no longer as simple as it used to be. A string inverter connected to a series of solar panels does not affect the performance of the entire system due to shading. It also provides greater flexibility in making design choices for the balance of system (BOS).

The market share for string inverters is still miniscule in comparison to central inverters, which earn approximately 90 percent of the market share. Mercom’s recently released India Solar Market Leaderboard 2018 report covers the top inverter suppliers for 2017.

Image credit: By Pacific Southwest Region from Sacramento, [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons