Davinder Kathuria

Associate General Manager, Asset Management (South Cluster), Adani Solar

Davinder Kathuria is an operations and maintenance (O&M) professional with over 28 years of experience in various multinational and domestic companies involved in the power, telecom and renewable energy sectors. He also has experience in fire prevention and control equipment installation in Nepal and Bang­la­desh. Kathuria started his career with Alcatel India, a French company (previously part of the Modi Group), where he spent over 11 years. Post Alcatel, he worked with Delta, handling after-sa­l­es services for its SMPS and UPS products. This was followed by a stint at ACME Telepower. He also worked with Nokia as a global product manager, and was head of O&M at Vikram Solar for a period of three years.

Kathuria joined Adani Green Energy Limited in 2021 and is currently associate general manager, asset management for the south cluster at Adani Solar. He handles a portfolio of 3.5 GW, com­prising 48 utility-scale sites, including one of India’s biggest single-location sites with a 650 MW capacity at Kamuthi. He is involved in a diverse range of activities at the company, which makes his work exciting. “These include mergers and acquisitions, O&M planning, ma­na­gement of right-of-way (RoW) cases, as well as day-to-day O&M activities for our 48 utility-scale projects,” he says.

In his view, the solar O&M segment faces certain challenges that need to be addressed. He says, “Grid curtailment, transmission challenges, monitoring of assets and the DSM mechanism mu­st be the key focus areas. Moreover, policies differ between sta­tes. There is a need for common policies that are applicable to all states uniformly. RoW issues regarding land matters are al­so creating many challenges at rural sites, necessitating grea­ter support from the local administration and authorities.”

In terms of working style, Kathuria believes in deep diving into challenges and carrying the team along. “Support for and cooperation with all stakeholders are crucial for continuous improvement and innovation. I like to focus on the M3 type of management, whi­ch emphasises on ‘man, machine and method’,” he says.

In his spare time, Kathuria enjoys learning new techniques for control and monitoring. He also spends time gaining knowledge to create and execute innovative solutions. Going forward, he aims to direct his work towards areas such as grid sustainability and transmission losses. He also hopes to foray into projects as­sociated with emerging clean energy technologies such as green hydrogen and ammonia.

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