HSBC takes corporate PPA route for solar power
As one walks into the massive building that’s housing global banking major HSBC in Hyderabad’s IT corridor, one could wonder about the amount of energy required to maintain this headquarters for the firm’s global backend operations.
The structure — known as the Hexagon for its unique six-sided design — oversees 50,000 people spread over seven countries and needs 14 megawatts power. “But of this, 10 MW is clean energy,” says Subir Mehra, managing director of HSBC Electronic Data Processing (India) Pvt Ltd, speaking from his office that has a panoramic view of Cyberabad.
“We have been mandated to meet 40 per cent of our energy needs through clean solar energy by the year 2020. In fact, we have exceeded this target at our Hyderabad office, which meets 70 per cent of its energy needs through solar power.”
HSBC EDP has been one of the prime movers in Hyderabad who have made the switch towards renewable energy through corporate power purchase agreements (PPA) with a third-party power producer, a trend fast catching up across the world among corporations.
In Hyderabad, the state government has sanctioned 18 corporate power purchase agreements in the last four years — a minuscule number compared to the tectonic shift towards clean energy being witnessed elsewhere in the world.
According to Bloomberg, some 19 gigawatt (19,000 MW) of corporate PPAs for renewable energy have been signed so far across the world in the first quarter of 2017.
Corporate PPA typically involves companies entering into an agreement with a third party power producer for setting up a captive power plant for exclusive use of the purchasing company.
As the power plant would be set up at a remote location, the power producer supplies power to the grid and the power purchasing company uses gird through net-metering concept.
“Apart from Hyderabad, our Vizag office too uses renewable energy to meet 50 per cent of its power requirements. Within a few months, we are planning to implement it at one of our Bengaluru offices. When it goes live, the Bengaluru office would be using renewable power to meet 65 per cent of its energy needs,” Mr Mehra said.