Investment Strategy in C&I Solar Projects: Exploring Opportunities in India
India’s commercial and industrial (C&I) sector is rapidly adopting solar energy as a means of reducing energy costs and meeting sustainability goals. The sector has seen significant growth in recent years, with solar rooftop installations and open access power purchase agreements (PPAs) becoming increasingly popular. In this article, we will explore the investment strategy for C&I solar projects, the opportunities available in the Indian market, and the key players operating in this space.
Solar Rooftop and Open Access PPA Opportunities in C&I Sector
The C&I sector in India has been quick to adopt solar rooftop installations, with businesses installing solar panels on their rooftops to generate their own electricity. This approach allows businesses to reduce their electricity bills, generate their own clean energy, and contribute to their sustainability goals. In addition to solar rooftop installations, open access PPAs are also becoming popular in the C&I sector. Open access allows businesses to purchase electricity directly from a solar plant, bypassing the local electricity distribution company (Discom) and reducing their electricity costs. This approach is particularly attractive to businesses with high energy consumption, as it allows them to purchase electricity at a lower cost than they would through the Discom.
Why Investment in C&I Sector is Bankable
Investing in C&I solar projects is becoming increasingly bankable due to the sector’s growth and strong demand. C&I businesses are eager to reduce their energy costs and meet their sustainability goals, and solar energy is an attractive solution. Furthermore, the government’s support for renewable energy and the reduction in the cost of solar equipment has made C&I solar projects more economically viable. Additionally, C&I PPAs typically have longer contract durations, making them more attractive to investors.
Why Companies are Preferring Investment in C&I Sector as Compared to the Discom PPAs
C&I businesses are preferring investment in solar energy due to the numerous benefits it offers, including reduced energy costs, increased energy independence, and reduced carbon emissions. In addition, solar energy is becoming increasingly cost-competitive with traditional energy sources, making it an economically attractive option. Furthermore, C&I businesses are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact and are eager to adopt clean energy solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.
Key Players in Indian C&I Solar PPA Market
Several key players are active in the Indian C&I solar PPA market, including CleanMax, AMP Energy, Amplus Solar, Cleantech Solar, and Fourth Partner Energy.
CleanMax, founded in 2012, has installed over 550 solar projects for more than 170 corporates, with a total operating capacity of over 700 MWp. In 2021, CleanMax signed a deal with Facebook for buying renewable energy from a 32 MW wind project being developed in Karnataka.
AMP Energy, headquartered in Canada, entered the Indian market in 2016 and delivers clean energy to commercial and industrial (C&I) and utility customers. In 2021, Jubilant Ingrevia signed an agreement with AMP Energy to acquire a 26.6% stake in AMP Green Energy Fifteen Private Limited.
Amplus Solar, a member of the Petronas Group, has a portfolio of more than 850 MW of projects under operation and development spread across 24 states in India. In 2021, Amplus Solar announced the acquisition of 17 operational solar projects totaling 7.2 MWp from Sterling & Wilson Private Limited.
Cleantech Solar, headquartered in Singapore, has over 600 MW of solar capacity at various stages of development across India and Southeast Asia, primarily focused on the C&I solar segment.