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Amp Energy India entered the Indian renewable energy market in 2016, How has the experience been so far?
We initially focused only on C&I and government projects, as it is a B2B business that requires relationship building, which takes more time. In contrast, the utility-scale business is dependent on bidding and does not require too much time to build.
As of today, the company sells solar power to more than 40 C&I and government clients. It has a total portfolio of around 650+MW spread across 15 states, comprising commissioned as well as under-implementation projects. Its customers include leading players from sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automobiles, cement, steel, FMCG, infrastructure, heavy industry, educational institutions, hospitals, utilities, IT and telecom. Its diversified client portfolio includes players like Tata Hitachi, Hero Cycles, Hewlett-Packard, AB InBev, Britannia, L&T Metro Hyderabad Rail, Kochi Metro Rail Limited and Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVIPL).
In January 2020, Amp Energy India commissioned an 8 MW solar project to supply power to L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad on an opex basis under a 25-year power purchase agreement. In December 2019, Amp Energy India set up an 8.5 MW rooftop solar project at SAVIPL’s Chakan-based facility. This project will help meet up to 15 per cent of the site’s annual electricity requirements. Apart from developing rooftop solar projects, Amp Energy India has increased the scale and size of its open access projects. In fact, about 80 per cent of the company’s portfolio in India comprises open access projects while only 20 per cent share is contributed by behind-the-meter projects.
The company also has a large solar capacity under implementation. In 2019, it commenced the construction of a 120 MWp open access solar power project in Uttar Pradesh at an estimated investment of Rs 5 billion. Post commissioning, it will be one of the largest open access solar energy projects in the state. The company is constructing another 120 MWp open access solar project in Haryana at an estimated investment of Rs 4 billion. The project will supply power to high creditworthy C&I consumers.
What are the future plans of Amp Energy India?
Amp Energy India aims to develop 2 GW of clean energy capacity in a span of three years. Instead of focusing on one particular segment, it intends to be an independent power producer with a balanced portfolio of C&I and utility-scale renewable projects. For now, Amp Energy India is focused on greenfield development in the renewable energy segment. In addition, the company is planning to develop wind and energy storage solutions for a diverse range of projects. Amp Energy India already has experience of installing energy storage projects in North America and intends to use this benefit of knowledge sharing among different geographies. We intend to develop both small behind-the-meter projects as well as large utility-scale energy storage projects. However, we feel it will take another year for energy storage to become commercially viable in the country.
Amp Energy India does not have any wind power capacity in India, but it will start developing wind assets this year. It has already identified various wind sites in the country and plans to supply wind power to both C&I and utility-scale customers.
To implement the huge planned capacity in India, Amp Energy India is backed by a group of institutional investors from Japan, Canada, India and Europe. In fact, in January 2020, LGT LightstoneAspada announced its plans to invest up to $50 million in Amp Energy India’s unit for a long duration. Its lenders include a host of private and public banks, NBFCs and foreign institutions.
Will the current COVID-9 outbreak impact the solar sector in the long run?
In the long-term, we do not see any impact because our cycle of business is such that when we develop a project and by the time it is commissioned, in the utility sector it is almost two years and in the industrial sector also the timeline is atleast a year.
On the demand for power, we see a lot of uptake in the business development activity and on the government side also the bidding is continuing.
The government is also trying to iron out a lot of things for the sector. So, demand is going to be there for power. In the short-term there are some delays for quarter to two quarter but commercially we are covering ourselves.
What are the other initiatives taken by Amp Energy India?
We are creating an accelerator for cleantech start-ups where we back them with capital and help them in building their own business or maybe become a customer of their products also to give them volumes. We are also working on a number of initiatives to extend our offering to be a one stop-shop for corporates for green power. Globally, through AmpX we are creating the next generation of clean energy such as dispatchable clean energy and smart transformers.