Mercom Announces Winners of Its Flagship 2023 Renewable Industry Awards

Mercom India announced the awards under eleven categories at the ‘Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023, held on April 26, 2023, recognizing the exceptional work of the organizations contributing to India’s clean energy industry and helping drive the country forward in its energy transition.

The awards highlighted the remarkable achievements of organizations and individuals who have helped accelerate India’s environmental goals and grow local economies through innovation, leadership, and the advancement of renewable energy across the country.

The awards focused on each project’s uniqueness, challenges, and complexities and their economic, environmental, and social impact.

Tata Power was declared the winner in the best large-scale solar project category for its 300 MW solar plant in Dholera, Gujarat, India. The project was completed on time, even in the face of unpredictable weather conditions during construction. In addition, the operation and maintenance (O&M) team overcame maintenance challenges by uplifting 1,600 km of cables to avoid groundwater contact, which aided the project’s progress. The plant uses a single-axis solar tracker system and generates 774 MU annually while reducing carbon emissions by 704,340 MT annually.

Fourth Partner Energy was declared the winner in the best C&I Project (Rooftop) category for its 9.552 MW solar installation on five sheds at Hyundai’s car manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu. The project managed to integrate with the plant’s operations seamlessly. It overcame coordination and technical and logistical challenges, especially during the rainy season, and utilized non-penetrative technology for all sheds to prevent water leakage. Despite limited work hours due to minimal disruption to plant operations, the installation was completed on time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project exemplifies the potential of rooftop solar installations in the industrial sector.

Amp Energy India was declared the winner of the Best C&I (Ground-Mount) category for its back-to-back solar open-access projects in Maharashtra. The 45 MW solar open-access project by the company is spread across 131 acres of land in Osmanabad, Solapur district, and serves three commercial and industrial (C&I) customers in the state, including Cipla, Jubiliant Ingrevia, and Eternis Chemicals. The project helps these consumers save around 30% on energy costs while meeting 50-65% of their energy requirements. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the project was completed within a record time of five months and ahead of schedule.

Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL) won the Best Residential Project award for its “Expansion of Solarisation of Modhera Sun Temple and Town” project. The innovative project aims to convert Modhera into an energy-resilient and sustainable community through grid-integrated solar power, including installing 1,075 residential solar rooftop systems, each with a capacity of 1 kW. The successful completion of this project has increased footfall to Modhera and serves as a benchmark for clean energy sustainability, innovation, and demand-side management in rural areas.

Oorja Development Solutions India (Oorja) has been awarded the Best Off-grid Project for its innovative Pay-Per-Use Irrigation services for smallholder farmers. This pioneering project aims to help small and marginal farmers in India transition from fossil fuels to affordable and reliable solar-powered irrigation, milling, and cooling services. The unique “Irrigation-as-a-Service” enables farmers to transition from diesel-based pumping to affordable and reliable solar irrigation. Oorja’s tariffs are set to be 20-40% cheaper than the running cost of diesel groundwater pumping, making access to affordable irrigation possible for smallholder farmers year-round. This project is a game-changer for small farmers, helping them improve their yields and profitability while reducing their carbon footprint.

CleanMax Enviro, the Best Hybrid Project award winner, has installed a 151 MW wind-solar hybrid plant in two phases. The project was commissioned in 2021 and 2022 with an installed capacity of 70 MW and 81 MW, respectively. The group captive model is the prominent open-access procurement model in the CleanMax WSH Jagalur plant. The wind and solar power pooling substation is located near the government substation, saving transmission infrastructure costs. The project was handled in-house, focusing on safety and synchronization across teams.

NTPC has won the award for Best Engineered Project for its 101.6 MW floating solar power project located in Kayamkulam, Kerala. The project utilizes the unused area of a 350-acre water body and generates 167,150 MWh of energy annually while reducing carbon emissions by 1,42,077 tons annually. The project faced many challenges, such as underwater dredging of soil strata, heavy monsoons, and transportation of power cables. However, the team overcame them with innovative solutions such as designing hydrodynamic floats and using cast pile foundations for support.

RenewSys has won the Best Innovation – Product award for its RenewSys Transparent Backsheet. This specialized solar polymer maximizes the passing of reflected sunlight to solar cells while protecting them from contaminants that can compromise panel performance. It allows manufacturers to seamlessly switch between mono and bi-facial orders and deliver bi-facial modules at a competitive cost. The product complies with the accelerated UV aging test and is India’s first and only Transparent Backsheet qualifying for the Super Ultra-Violet test. RenewSys developed a robust multi-layer film by combining formulation and processing techniques to deliver performance with competitive economies.

Serentica Renewables has won the Deal of the Year (Strategic) award for its $400 million investment deal with KKR, a global investment firm. The investment is one of the largest decarbonization investments made in India to date and will aid Serentica Renewables in its efforts to provide clean energy solutions for energy-intensive, hard-to-abate industrial sectors. The investment will help the company to build 1.5 GW of capacity and achieve its goal of generating 5 GW within three years.

SJVN Green Energy has won the Deal of the Year (Financial) award. The company secured a loan of ₹44.45 billion (~$542.9 million) from the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to develop a 1 GW solar project in Bikaner, Rajasthan. The project has an estimated energy output of 2,454 MUs per year and is expected to be commissioned by March 2024.

Hero Future Energies has won this year’s newly launched Energy Transition award. The company is one of India’s leading renewable energy companies and has a portfolio of over 5 GW of installed wind and solar projects across the country. The company aims to achieve 10 GW of installed capacity by 2025 and has been expanding its operations within India and internationally. The Energy Transition Award recognized Hero Future Energies’ contribution to India’s transition to a low-carbon economy and its efforts to promote sustainable development.

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