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Completing 10 Years In 2022, We Stand At The Cusp Of A Transformation, From Being One Of India’s Leading RE Players To Becoming The Leading Energy Transition Partner For Our Clients Across The Globe: Srivatsan Iyer, Global CEO, Hero Future Energies

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Srivatsan Iyer - Global CEO, Hero Future Energies

Reading Time: 9 minutes

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Conversation Highlights:

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  • Transformation of the C&I sector shall continue to remain the cornerstone of the country’s decarbonization efforts and we are working with some of the largest C&I players in India and other countries, helping them navigate their journey to Net Zero.
  • The GOI must come up with Clear national guidelines regarding Captive/Group Captive projects to maintain the pace and momentum we’ve seen build up over the last few years in the C&I green transition.

What are the strategies Hero Future adopted to achieve 5GW renewable capacity within 5 years?

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HFE currently has ~1.6 GW of Operational Wind, Solar and Hybrid projects along with a strong pipeline of over 4 GW of shovel-ready projects across India, the UK, Vietnam and Bangladesh. With the recent addition of KKR as a strategic partner in HFE’s growth plans, we are now ready to start deploying projects on the Ground.

Transformation of the C&I sector shall continue to remain the cornerstone of the country’s decarbonization efforts and we are working with some of the largest C&I players in India and other countries, helping them navigate their journey to Net Zero. In our role as an energy transition partner, we are supporting our clients to create Roadmaps to convert Net-Zero pledges to Net-Zero roadmaps and provide Products, Solutions and Services to enable their Net-Zero journey. We are working with State and Private sector agencies in select High Growth geographies to develop and deliver projects on a Utility-scale as well.

On the India Utility front, we are increasingly looking at more advanced Hybrid, RTC and Peak power projects.

How will the recent ‘Green Open Access Rule 2022’ open up the open-access solar energy market in India? What is your view on the potential market outlook of India’s Virtual PPA and Corporate PPA market?

India’s ambitious 500 GW Renewable target requires participation from all segments of the economy and especially the C&I segment, as one of the biggest consumers of electricity across the nation. The MOP notification of Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022 comes at a time when the Indian C&I space is looking at Green Energy and Decarbonization as a means of accelerating their Net Zero Journey. While Virtual PPAs are still nascent and will become more relevant once the Exchange mechanisms mature, we’ve seen significant activity in the Corporate PPA space in the last 2 years with a lot of industry majors tying up green PPAs with major IPPs across the country.

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As more C&I consumers are now looking at Firm, dispatchable RTC Green Power, where the wind is expected to play a bigger role along with BESS and Green Hydrogen, the size of OA generations plants is also expected to get bigger considering scale efficiencies required for cost parity. This will push customers to opt for a group captive kind of arrangement where demand across multiple customers is aggregated to be serviced through a larger generation facility.

However, recent developments regarding clarity around Group Captive regulations, which at the time are not consistent and subject to variability depending on states and DISCOMS, can prove to be a dampener. The GOI must come up with Clear national guidelines regarding Captive/Group Captive projects to maintain the pace and momentum we’ve seen build up over the last few years in the C&I green transition.

The reduction of the Open Access Transaction limit from 1 MW to 100 kW will open up RE to a multitude of MSMEs and other smaller players, who, when aggregated form a large chunk of the demand but were earlier missed out due to smaller quantum of their individual energy requirements.

These Rules also provide for streamlining the overall approval process for granting open access. Time-bound processing by bringing uniformity and transparency in the application as well as approval of open access through a national portal is a clear step in the right direction, as is the certainty on open access charges such as transmission, wheeling, cross-subsidy surcharge and standby charges along with a cap on increasing of cross-subsidy surcharge as well as the removal of additional surcharge.

However, these rules, which are currently notified at the national level, are yet to be codified into state Open Access regulations which will affect the implementation of these provisions. States like KA have already come out with draft Green Open access regulations and we are hopeful that other shall soon follow.

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What are your future solar module procurement strategies for Indian projects in the wake of ALMM compliance?

Implementation of BCD and ALMM compliance, especially in the wake of the global supply chain crisis has impacted almost the entire ~40GW projects currently under execution today both in terms of cost escalations and schedule delays.

While a competitive domestic supply chain may prove to be essential for sustained long-term growth, the short-term disruptions may have cascading effects on the ability to achieve the 40 GW annual capacity addition required for the 500 GW goal. Till the time the announced domestic manufacturing capacity under the Manufacturing linked Tender and PLI schemes become operational, the GOI must find a reasonable path forward to meet the ambitious RE targets and not lose the momentum that India gained in the last couple of years in RE deployment.

Can you please give us a brief insight into the collaboration between Hero Future Energy and Ohmium to produce 1GW green H2 facilities in India?

In line with our goal of becoming the Industry’s leading Energy Transition Partner, HFE has an ambition of being a leading provider of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives.

Founded by electrochemical industry veterans, Ohmium brings extensive experience from the fuel cell & power electronics industries into the design, development & system integration of state-of-the-art PEM hydrogen electrolyzer.

With the Strategic Partnership, we aim to provide the most scalable, flexible & cost-effective green hydrogen solutions for our C&I clients and work to deploy green Hydrogen solutions at the Utility Scale.

What are the different initiatives taken by Hero Future Energy to achieve its sustainability targets?

To enable the move towards self-sufficiency, energy security and transition to a Greener, more sustainable planet, we at HFE have embarked on a journey to grow our Renewable Asset Base 5x over the next 5 Years. This growth shall be inclusive and we will endeavor to ensure all stakeholders (Customers, Employees, Vendors, Policy makers, Regulators, Investors, and especially local communities) benefit from this growth.

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Completing 10 Years in 2022, we stand at the cusp of a transformation, from being one of India’s leading RE Players to becoming the Leading Energy transition partner for our clients across the globe. In line with our goal of being climate positive by 2030, we continuously strive to reduce the ecological footprint of our activities by maximizing energy and water efficiency, reducing emissions, minimizing waste, and protecting biodiversity while also fulfilling regulatory compliance requirements.

As part of our Sustainability journey, we have set the following goals for ourselves

Net Zero: We plan to be carbon neutral and achieve Net Zero carbon Emissions by 2030. We remain committed to operating and expanding responsibly and as of date, completely offset or Scope 1 & 2 Emissions

Water Positive: We aspire to become water positive by 2030 by adopting water harvesting and increasing water-use efficiency by using technology such as robotic cleaning

People Positive: Our People are our biggest asset and we continue to invest and develop strong and capable leaders of the future, through our culture of Trust, Respect, Transparency, and Delegation

Biodiversity Preservation: We have a strategic and focused biodiversity management plan which tracks the impact our business or projects has on biodiversity with clear mitigation plans

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