India’s CleanMax Solar bags $39m from Macquarie-managed UKCI

Photo from CleanMax Solar's website

Renewable energy provider CleanMax Solar has raised Rs 2.75 billion ($39 million) in equity funding from UK Climate Investments (UKCI), a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

UKCI is a £200-million ($258 million) pilot investment programme mandated to invest in India and across sub-Saharan Africa.

CleanMax Solar had earlier raised $100 million from Warburg Pincus and another $15 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2017.

The Indian firm said the latest funding will help it expand its renewable energy portfolio. It plans to facilitate renewable energy buying for corporates by constructing a network of private solar farms across India.

Kuldeep Jain, founder and managing director of CleanMax Solar, said corporates are quickly adopting renewables sourcing at scale to achieve the twin benefits of profit improvement and carbon footprint reduction.

“We are excited with our aim to enhance our portfolio from 500 MW to 2,000 MW in the next three years,” Jain said.

Founded in 2011, the Indian solar energy firm increased its total capacity over three times in 2017-18 to 336 MW against 93 MW in 2016-17. Its revenue grew four times to Rs 1,200 crore against Rs 298.54 crore in 2016-17.

CleanMax develops projects on a turnkey basis, providing what it describes as cheaper-than-grid solar power without any upfront investment from its customers. Its clientele spans sectors such as automotive, education, pharmaceuticals, FMCG, and information technology. It has installed more than 300 projects for over 120 corporates, with a total rooftop solar operating capacity of more than 170 MW.

The investor, UKCI, is a joint venture between the Green Investment Group and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. It is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

The fund’s investments seek to help finance the build-out of vital new green energy infrastructure in countries with carbon-intensive economies and/or limited access to electricity.

The current geographical focus is India and Sub-Saharan Africa, regions with high demand for new generation capacity where renewables present a competitive alternative to fossil fuels, UKCI said on its website.

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