The very first Solar Today Awards 2016 was successfully held at the InterSolar Exhibition in Mumbai on October 21, 2016, in the presence of the industry’s best and brightest. The function began with the lighting of the lamp by G Adhiseshu, Managing Director, Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Private Ltd, Government of Andhra Pradesh; Pratap Padode, Managing Director, ASAPP Info Global Group; and Sumit Banerjee, Chairman, Advisory Board, ASAPP Info Global Group.

This was followed up with an introductory address by Mr Padode, wherein he spoke about the business climate in the country and how despite tough times - financially and otherwise — India Inc. is now moving forward in the solar sector. He stated confidence in businesses geared towards sustainability, solar energy and energy storage, which can be the game changers that the country needs.

After the address, an expert panel comprising of Prafulla Pathak, Secretary General, Solar Energy Society of India; Preetam D’Souza, Partner, Kochhar & Co.; Shirish S Garud, Director and Senior Fellow, TERI and Santosh Janakiram, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and moderated by Vinay Rustagi, Managing Director, Bridge to India, discussed ‘Competitive bidding for solar projects in India’.

While coming to a general consensus that competitive in the solar field has drastically brought down solar costs, thus making it more financially competitive, they further felt that viability of such projects is now under question and the structure essentially eliminate smaller players from venturing anywhere near.

The main event on the itinerary for the evening — the awards ceremony was conducted next. Parameters for the basis of selection for companies were considerations on their grid-connected projects above 1 MW, AC capacity numbers where available and capacity commissioned in the last 12 months.

For the first six awards — Utility Scale Solar (Project Developer and EPC Contractor); Rooftop Solar (Project Developer and EPC Contractor); Module Manufacturer and Inverter Manufacturer — winners were decided purely based on the size or capacity. The decision of the top three players has been adjudged on the basis of data collected by Bridge to India.

The latter four awards — Top Manufacturer in India — Quality and Cost Competitiveness; Best Innovation in the Sector; Best Start-up in the Sector and Emerging State — were selected by the Jury, based on discussions conducted and the nominations received. Here, for the Jury’s Choice Award for Manufacturer in India (Composite) — Quality and Competitiveness, the factors considered were strong reputation for quality, ability to compete internationally and whether the company is amongst the Top 10 players in the country, by virtue of size and volume.