UK Climate Investments (UKCI) will underpin the development of a nationwide network of solar farms following an agreement to invest £30 million (INR 275 Crores) in one of India’s leading providers of renewable energy for commercial and industrial clients, CleanMax Solar.

Founded in Mumbai in 2011, CleanMax Solar pioneered the ‘Energy Sale’ model in India through the development of distributed generation capacity across some the country’s largest cities. Partnering with commercial and industrial (C&I) clients to build new rooftop and ground-mounted solar generation projects, CleanMax Solar enables businesses to access clean, cheaper-than-grid electricity by removing the need for significant upfront capital investment.

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CleanMax Solar’s innovative business model has seen it quickly grow to become India’s top rooftop installer in 2018 and one of the country’s largest solar developers in the C&I market segment – operating 500 MW of distributed generation capacity across 340 sites.

UKCI’s commitment will assist CleanMax Solar as it looks to scale its operations, providing it with the capital needed to expand its network of private solar farms across the country.

Richard Abel, Managing Director of UKCI, said: “CleanMax Solar is helping businesses in one of the world’s fastest growing economies rethink how they produce and consume electricity. Our partnership represents an exciting opportunity to help take their platform to the next level – underpinning investment in new renewable generation capacity whilst accelerating India’s transition to a low-carbon future.”

Kuldeep Jain, Founder and Managing Director of CleanMax Solar, said: “Corporates are quickly adopting renewables sourcing at scale to achieve the twin benefits of profit improvement and carbon footprint reduction. This investment, along with the know-how of Macquarie will enable CleanMax to continue being the market leader in B2B solar sector. We are excited with our aim to enhance our portfolio from 500 MW to 2000 MW in the next 3 years."

Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, said: “This investment showcases how the UK and India are working together to promote mutual prosperity, clean growth and investment. This unique partnership marries City of London green finance expertise with the innovation of Indian business to deliver clean energy solutions.

The UK and India are at the cutting edge of finance and technology, jointly tackling global challenges like climate change and creating market opportunities for the rest of the world.”

CleanMax Solar’s operating capacity has grown from 24 MW in 2015-16 to more than 500 MW in 2018-19, and it expects to expand its customer base from 120 corporate clients to 300 by 2022.

UKCI’s investment in CleanMax Solar represents its fourth commitment to assist the world’s developing economies tackle climate change and promote cleaner, greener growth. Earlier this year, UKCI announced a £28 million cornerstone investment in a dedicated African renewable energy yieldco, Revego Africa Energy Limited. In 2018, UKCI completed the construction of a 60MW greenfield solar project in Maharashtra with Lightsource BP, and partnered with Fortum and Elite Alfred Berg to cornerstone India’s first unlisted renewables yieldco for international investors.

UKCI is a joint venture between the Green Investment Group and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. UKCI is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, the world’s largest infrastructure manager.