In April of 2015, we installed our first solar plant. We had moved from the US two months back, needed 24/7 electricity, disliked diesel, and believed in solar. So we went looking for someone who could install our plant.
Our experience was not great. Big companies wouldn’t touch us. Small installations mean small profits, so why do it especially given that there are many larger fish for them to catch (government driven projects). But there were many smaller companies that were willing.
So we got quotations, and that is where the confusion started. They all offered turnkey, but provided no (or generic) analysis, no math to back up estimates (certainly no guarantees on savings), widely varying plant estimates, and an even crazier variation in the quotes. We did what any confused person would do – closed our eyes, picked one who seemed reasonable and prayed!
You can guess some of what happened next – lots of phone calls, missed deadlines, wrong material ordered, more phone calls etc. Anyone who has ever had a contractor do a project can easily relate, though this was at a much smaller scale. Unfortunately many of these so called Solar EPC (Engineering – Procuring – Construction) contractors actually hail from the construction industry. Solar projects in India are setup as construction projects. And while this is true for large government projects built on waste lands, my roof is a flat, concrete structure! There is very little construction involved!
The problems did not stop there – a year later one of the pillars holding up the plant came loose, and the entire thing started swaying in the wind! (I had to get that fixed.) A solar installation is supposed to last 25 years. During that time there are many things that can go wrong. Take another example, do you know that the electricity generated from a solar plant varies from minute to minute, day to day? It depends on many things, like where the Sun is in the sky, clarity of the air, temperature and many more. What if the plant does not generate “enough” electricity – how would you know?
There are over a 100 module manufacturers in India, all with the “same” product. They all offer a 25 year performance warrantee, and are all MNRE certified. But all modules are not the same, there is a difference in quality! Sadly, I have proof (now that I can compute what the output should be at any given instance, I can tell that my plant is not up to par).
We paid good money for our solar plant, had to deal with many hassles, and ended up with a low quality product. That, in spite of having worked in the solar industry in the US!
But that got us thinking – there has to be a better way. Every one should benefit from the Sun. Solar needs to be simple, transparent, and cost effective.
That gave birth to SolLink – your link to the Sun. A simpler way to go solar – you decide how much you’d like to spend, and we will tell you what your savings will be, and then we will guarantee the savings! (No technical background required, try it here). Then leave the rest to us – the best components, the installation, the hassles, everything.
Thats what we wanted when we installed a solar plant at our home – a hassle free experience, a product that delivers on it’s promise. That is what Sollink aims to provide.