CleanMax Solar, an Indian rooftop solar developer, has raised $15 million (~₹964.52 million) in investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The IFC will invest in compulsorily convertible debentures in CleanMax Solar. This is the first time IFC is buying equity shares in a distributed-generation firm.
The proceeds of the IFC investment will be utilized to fund the construction of green field solar projects across India. For the purposes of corporate due diligence, IFC reviewed and visited two greenfield solar projects developed by CleanMax Solar in the states of Karnataka (30 MW) and Tamil Nadu (30MW) to identify associated environmental, health and safety and social (E&S) risks and mitigation measures. The IFC in January 2017, had announced that it was planning to make $15 million (~₹964.52 million) investment in CleanMax Solar.
This is the second major funding raised by CleanMax Solar this year through equity sale. In July 2017, the company raised $100 million (₹6.5 billion) in equity financing from Warburg Pincus, a New York-based private equity firm.
According to Press Trust of India (PTI), CleanMax Solar founder and Managing Director Kuldeep Jain said, “IFC is a global leader in clean energy investment, and CleanMax is honored to be their first investment globally in grid connected distributed generation. We welcome IFCs best in class environmental, health & safety, and governance guidelines.”
IFC Regional Industry Head (Infrastructure & Natural Resources) Hyun-Chan Cho said, “IFC sees distributed generation segment playing a very important role in India’s future energy mix.
The investment by IFC is in line with its plans. A recent IFC report identified $3.1 trillion (~₹199.33 trillion) of climate investment opportunities in India. Per IFC, the national target of generating 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 represents almost $448 billion (~₹28.8 trillion) in investment potential. This will be crucial given India’s aim to electrify all new vehicle sales by 2030, creating a potential investment opportunity of almost $670 billion (~₹43.08 trillion) if this goal is fully met.
In a recent interview with Mercom, the chief operating officer of CleanMax Solar had said, “we are focused on rooftop solar. The entire fund will be utilized to consolidate our position in this sector so that we can emerge as the largest rooftop project installer. We plan to take few projects on our books of account. A part of the fund will also be used to expand in newly emerging markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where we have setup offices,” when asked about the utilization of recently raised funds.
Image credit: CleanMax Solar