These 5 Firms Moved To Solar in 2021. How Many Will Follow?

Indian corporates across energy-intensive sectors are increasingly adopting solar for captive use, the latter comprising a solar power plant that is deployed by a company for its own consumption.

That is, power generated by such a solar power plant is consumed entirely by the developing company itself. For instance, Mumbai-headquartered auto major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. is adopting a 58 MWp captive solar plant that is expected to generate about 100 million units of power annually beginning 2022.

The following list consists of five major Indian companies currently on their way to going solar. The question arises, how many will follow in their footsteps?

Anupam Rasayan India Limited 

Founded in 1984, this company is engaged in the custom synthesis and manufacturing of specialty chemicals in India for activities related to agrochemicals, personal care, pharmaceuticals, pigment and dyes, polymer additives, etc. With 6 manufacturing sites located in Gujarat, the firm now aims to adopt green growth.

The chemical manufacturing company announced in May this year that it will invest Rs 43 crore to set up a 12.5 MW solar power plant in an attempt to lower its carbon footprint and save on electricity costs in the long term. The proposed solar plant is expected to help save around Rs. 10 crore per annum for the next 25 years.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited

Known for its popular small city car Maruti 800, the company was founded in 1981 as Maruti Udyog Limited and was later acquired from the Indian government by the Suzuki Motor Cooperation in 2003 following a partnership between Suzuki and the State Bank of India. The firm has been the market leader in India for over 3 decades now.

In June last year, the Indian automotive manufacturer commissioned a 5 MW carport style solar power plant in Gurugram, with an investment of more than Rs 20 crore. The solar power project is expected to offset 5,390 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually for the next 25 years. while giving an output of 7,010 MWh of power per year.

The company had set up its first solar plant of 1 MW at the Manesar facility in 2014, which was further upgraded to 1.3 MW in 2018. The firm has also reportedly added a massive carport of 15 MW, that should be announced formally soon. That will take its total renewable solar capacity  to almost 22 MW.

Tata Motors

This Indian automobile giant was established in 1868 and today produces a variety of vehicles like passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, sports cars, construction equipment and military vehicles. While the company made iconic Indian vehicles such as Tata Indica, Tata Sumo, and Tata Safari in the early parts of the millennium, and is now the market leader in the nascent EV category with its Nexon range.

Rising from a smallish market share of 4.6 percent in 2016, and 4.8 percent in 2020, Tata Motors is now India’s third-largest carmaker, according to Forbes, boasting a market share of well over 9 percent in the world’s fourth-largest automobile market. In FY21, the company sold 222,025 units of passenger vehicles, a 69 percent growth in comparison to the year-ago period. It also owns and manufactures the iconic Jaguar Land Rover range of vehicles.

In June this year, Tata Motors and Tata Power jointly inaugurated India’s largest grid-synchronized, behind-the-meter solar carport at the Tata Motors car plant in Chikhali, Pune. The 6.2 MWp solar carport deployed by Tata Power will generate 86.4 lakh kWh of electricity per year and is estimated to help reduce 7,000 tons of carbon emissions annually and 1.6 lakh tons over its lifecycle. .

Vaibhav Global Limited

This Jaipur-based jewellery and accessories manufacturer was founded in 1980. It has electronic retail units: Shop LC formerly Liquidation Channel in the US & Canada and TJC formally The Jewellery Channel in UK & Ireland, whose combined reach is 123 million households.

In June this year, Vaibhav Global announced that it had become a 100 percent solar-powered company. Two of the company’s primary manufacturing facilities will now be powered by electricity generated by the company’s self-owned and operated solar plants. Surplus power would be distributed to local community resources.

VGL’s solar journey started in 2014 with the installation of rooftop solar power panels in one of the Jaipur manufacturing plants. After that a fully operational solar PV power generation project under captive use was commissioned in Bikaner-Rajasthan. The recently added plant takes VGLs solar power capacity to 3.23 MW and will address 100 percent of its power requirements for two of the Jaipur manufacturing facilities.

Kajaria Ceramics Limited

Founded 30 years ago, this is a reputed ceramic wall and floor tile manufacturing company, which offers over 2800 options, including many vitrified and designer tiles. It has an annual aggregate capacity of 70.40 mn. sq. meters, distributed across eight plants in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

Yesterday, the company announced its plans to invest up to Rs. 264 Lakhs in an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) for solar power captive consumption as required under the provisions of Electricity Act, 2003. The SPV is to be formed by a solar plant company, CleanMax Enviro Energy Solutions Private Ltd.

 

As these firms, across several sectors, demonstrate that there is no time like the present when it comes to shifting consumption away from fossil fuel-powered backup to solar. With battery storage costs also set to come down to a level that is below typical diesel generation costs, the scope for firms to shift in a bigger way is immense.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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