“Aiming for 1.5 GW of renewables”: Interview with Radiance Renewables’ S. Manikkan and Amit Mittal

Interview with Radiance Renewables’ S. Manikkan and Amit Mittal

The fast growing commercial and industrial (C&I) solar segment and the rising popularity of the renewable energy services company (RESCO) model have created a lucrative space for upcoming solar companies. Radiance Renewables is one such company making its way in the solar segment in India. In an interview with Renewable Watch, S. Manikkan, executive director, and Amit Mittal, head of operations, Radiance Renewables, talk about the company’s current scale of operations, experience so far and future outlook…

What is Radiance Renewables’ current scale of operations?

Radiance Renewables is a distributed renewable energy generation platform focused on providing renewable energy solutions to the C&I customer segment. It primarily operates as a RESCO, providing customers with opex solutions for their energy procurement. The company integrates in-house development, operational management and asset financing expertise to optimise the life cycle cost of ownership and competitiveness. Radiance works with its customers and technical partners to provide cost-effective solutions by minimising the overall life cycle cost of energy of the project. With access to global technological trends through Lightsource BP, construction experience in varied geographies, exposure to complex procurement models, Radiance’s business focuses on sustainability and action against climate change. To this end, Radiance has also adopted specific impact goals aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It aims to provide customised solutions to help C&I clients meet energy needs in a sustainable way through a partnership approach. The customised approach would include hybrid and storage models as well as innovative business models to meet different customer requirements. The company has a current development pipeline of over 200 MW with several clients across the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Who are the key investors and subsidiaries of Radiance? What are the company’s future plans, targets and investment requirements?

Radiance is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), an alternative investment fund managed by EverSource Capital. GGEF has cornerstone investments from India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and the Department for International Development of the UK government. EverSource Capital is a joint venture between Everstone Capital, an investment group focused on India and Southeast Asia, with assets worth over $5 billion across private equity, real estate, infrastructure and venture capital, and Lightsource BP, a global player in the development and management of solar energy projects (a 50:50 venture with BP), with an ambition to deliver 10 GW of solar capacity by 2023. Radiance aims to develop and make available at least 1.5 GW of solar or renewable capacity in India to its C&I customers over the next four years. Our team has more than three decades of collective experience in infrastructure, renewable energy and financing. Radiance will provide a one-stop solution to its customers based on their energy needs, using the team’s expertise in high quality design, health, safety and environment standards, corporate governance, and technical and regulatory expertise.

What has been the company’s experience amid the Covid-19 pandemic? What is your outlook for the company as well as the solar segment in the country?

Owing to dedicated personnel available at the plant site, there has been limited impact on the plant operations. While there was a temporary reduction in the energy requirement, there has been no long-term impact on the business due to availability of banking and net metering at its plants. There have been positive directional changes in policy that have been made in the draft amendment bill to the Electricity Act. These will prove beneficial to the growth of the renewable energy sector. The increasing trend of wider green energy adoption by corporate and institutional consumers is a major opportunity that Radiance will leverage to offer disruptive business models and technological solutions, including hybrid and storage. Radiance is bullish on the solar segment growth in the country with a very favourable outlook for rapid scale, driven by customer needs to shift to opex models. The current pandemic has only reinforced the beliefs of corporates to conserve cash and shift to opex-based innovative solutions while working towards their objectives of meeting sustainability and lower costs of energy. Radiance offers a differentiated solution-based approach to C&I customers, to ensure that we meet our clients’ sustainability needs – ensuring resource efficiency at competitive costs. We have an opportunity in this market to bring our clients a safe and reliable renewable energy system using the latest technology, and we are working hard to make it possible.