The IAN Fund, a seed fund, has led an investment worth ₹124 million (~$1.7 million) in Pune-based Nocca Robotics.
The investment also saw participation from prominent angel investors from Indian Angel Network, according to the company statement.
Harshit Rathore, the co-founder of Nocca Robotics, said, “Our waterless and shareable robotic solar panel cleaning solution enables plant owners to operate at peak efficiency while generating attractive ROIs (returns on investment) by curbing unnecessary spends on manual cleaning and increasing the power generation. Moreover, the impact that the switch to waterless cleaning options can drive on the ecological level is immense. Water is a precious resource without which we cannot survive. Coming up with innovative alternatives to all water-based industrial processes should be the top priority of our age.”
According to the press release, Nocca Robotics will leverage the capital infusion to set up a robust manufacturing facility to create robots with improved quality control. This establishment will cater to 1 GW of solar per year.
Speaking on the investment, Saurabh Srivastava, controlling and designated partner – IAN Fund, said, “Nocca Robotics, born in IIT Kanpur has with its unique IP for waterless robotic cleaning of solar panels and other surfaces, is well poised to leverage the government’s focus on scaling the country’s solar power generation capacity to 100 GW by 2022. Its innovative, tech-based, unique solution will address the auxiliary challenges associated with solar energy operations. IAN Fund is confident of the venture’s potential to achieve exponential growth and scale and is committed to helping it drive unparalleled disruption in India and abroad in its chosen market segment.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently issued a letter recommending efficient utilization of water for cleaning utility-scale solar projects. The ministry has said that project developers are currently using too much water for cleaning solar modules, and they should try and minimize wastage. The ministry has also recommended the use of robotic cleaning technology, which uses less water for cleaning solar projects.
Last year, Mercom reported on the news of Ecoppia, a robotics company that provides photovoltaic solar panel cleaning, signing an agreement with SB Energy to install two thousand robots across its five project sites at the Bhadla Solar Park (Phase III & IV) in Rajasthan.
Image credit: epSos.de [CC BY 2.0]
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.