ACME, Adani, Essel Were the Top Solar Project Developers in India in 2018

In 2018, ACME, Adani, and Essel were the top three developers of utility-scale solar projects in India in terms of installed capacity and accounted for 27% of installations in the year. The top 10 utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project developers accounted for almost 60% of the installed capacity.

At the end of 2018, there were six developers with a portfolio of over 1 GW of cumulative installed capacity compared to five developers in 2017.

According to Mercom’s India 2019 Solar Market Leaderboard, ACME was the top utility-scale solar PV project developer in 2018. Overall, ACME’s installed capacity grew by 56% in 2018. In 2017, Greenko was the top utility-scale solar developer in India.

Adani had the second largest installed capacity in 2018; the company was also second in 2017. Essel Infra grabbed the third spot among utility-scale developers, growing its portfolio exponentially year-over-year.

ACME Solar had the largest project pipeline at the end of December 2018, followed by SB Energy and Azure Power.

NLC India, which had the largest project pipeline in 2017, dropped down the list with the commissioning of 450 MW of solar projects in 2018.

In all, three developers had a project pipeline of 1 GW or more, and nine developers had a development pipeline of 500 MW or more in utility-scale projects.

The fluctuations in project pipelines can be attributed to the cancellation of over 4 GW of solar projects, uncertainties around the safeguard duty and the goods and service tax (GST), forcing projects which were expected to be commissioned in 2018 to get postponed across the country.

The top 10 utility-scale developers accounted for 46% of all large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects developed in India cumulatively, led by Adani.

Government policies and implementation have slowly pushed out smaller developers who are unable to compete. Payment delays are one aspect where smaller developers do not have the wherewithal to cope and may even have to sell their projects to survive.

With increasing complexities and execution challenges, the industry is consolidating around larger well-financed developers who are part of bigger corporations.

Mercom’s India 2019 Solar Market Leaderboard report goes into detailed breakdowns of top developers and their growth profile.

A complete list of developers and their portfolio is available through Mercom’s India Solar Market Share Tracker.