Solar Wind Hybrid Project of the Year: CleanMax Solar’s Project in Karnataka

Indian rooftop solar developer, CleanMax Solar, was adjudged the winner in the ‘Best Hybrid Project’ category, during the recently held Mercom India Solar Summit 2021.

CleanMax developed a wind-solar hybrid project for food manufacturer Cargill. The client had a large factory near the project site which needed round-the-clock power. CleanMax delivered an optimal mix of wind and solar power – 8.4 MW of wind capacity and 10.2 MW of solar power. The project began generating power in 2019 and provides 85 to 90% of the factory’s power requirement.

There were seven award categories in the Mercom India Solar Awards 2021, and winners were chosen based on project innovation, challenges overcome, uniqueness, and impact on the community, economy, and the environment.

The project is located in Davangere in Karnataka and was funded by Tata Capital, while the EPC ( Engineering, Procurement & Construction) contractor for the project was SML Electrics. Modules for the project were supplied by Jinko Solar and inverters by SunGrow.


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Image Credit: CleanMax

Suzlon also joined hands to set up the wind turbines at the project location.

Combining wind and solar power to provide a power mix that matches the client’s requirements was one of the key innovations in the hybrid project. The hybrid power system combines power from solar panels and wind turbines which are co-located, to produce uninterrupted electric power.

The power mix helped the clients to draw a high portion of their power needs from renewable energy. The solar and wind power plants share common infrastructure – in particular, the transmission line and pooling substation.

This reduced the fixed costs of the project, improving its cost competitiveness. The utilization or Plant Load Factor (PLF) of an individual wind farm in India is approximately 35%, while that of an individual solar farm is approximately 17%. But when these two projects are co-located and hybridized, the effective PLF goes up to 52%.

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 Image Credit: CleanMax

Also, CleanMax pioneered the use of an all-aluminum conductor which reduces the transmission losses and increases power carrying capacity by 40%, the first time such a system has been deployed in India.

Tejus AV, who heads the wind and solar farm business for ‎CleanMax, received the award.

He said that the project was conceptualized in 2014 more like a science project. “In 2017, we worked on the pilot project and around 2018-19 we turned it into a commercial-scale project. Our client had signed up with another vendor but when we presented our case, he was quite excited to jump in and take it forward.”

Last year in July, Cargill announced a joint venture with CleanMax to set up the wind and solar hybrid power park in Karnataka.