Cleantech Solar a big wheel in Asia’s C&I rooftop PV scene


Whether electric or petroleum powered, cars currently still need tyres, and Cleantech Solar, one of Asia’s largest C&I solar PV developers, is steering its second major tyre manufacturer in the region, Indonesia’s Elangperdana, towards renewable electricity use with a 4.5 MW system on the roof of its Java-based production facility situated near the Sentul International motor racing circuit.

Elangperdana Tyre Industry produces high performance radial tyres for the Indonesian and international tyre markets, as well as radial and conventional tyres for light trucks and buses. 

“This solar project will play an important role in reducing our carbon emissions,” said Dicky Mursalie, Managing Director of Elangperdana, in a statement which claims the installation will displace an annual 117,500 tonnes of CO2.

Singapore-based Cleantech Solar, which was founded in 2014 by a group of former Barclays executives led by present Cleantech Chairman Raju Shukla, has more than 500 MW of commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects in operation, construction or development across India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and in Singapore itself.

In 2016, it installed a 1.81 MWp system for Apollo Tyres in the Chennai industrial region of Oragadam, India, producing not only 2.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, but also providing shading and thereby lowering the temperature of the plant’s manufacturing unit.

Tyre manufacture is energy intensive, with the mixing of materials (including rubber, carbon black, sulphur, silicon and chemicals), calendaring (the incorporation of steel belts or fabric reinforcement in to the tyre material) and curing (applying pressure and heat to stimulate bonding between tyre materials) of the “green” tyres the biggest energy consumers among the 10 or so processes involved.

For Elangperdana, Cleantech Solar will develop and operate a turnkey solution and guarantee the performance of the solar PV system over the lifetime of the 25-year agreement signed last week.

Shukla said Cleantech Solar is “delighted to partner with Elangperdana in helping them to make this transition towards renewable energy”.

Cleantech specialises in financing, constructing and operating projects for Tier 1 and Fortune 100 companies throughout the region, enabling businesses to achieve environmental and cost-saving targets with zero upfront capital investment.

Last June, the pan-Asian solar developer secured Asia Pacific’s biggest ever green loan for C&I rooftop solar development with US$75 million in financing from ING Bank.

At the time, ING’s Lead for Renewables and Power in the Asia Pacific, Adrian Lian, said that the international financier was “thrilled to have combined Cleantech Solar’s strengths with ING’s renewables expertise to arrange a specially structured solution to support their business”.

The year 2019 saw Cleantech Solar as the leader, for the third year in row, in India’s C&I rooftop PV market, with 15.4% share of 520 MW installed in that country over the 12 month period.

Image: Cleantech Solar

In January 2019, Cleantech Solar became the second major solar investment of Shell Eastern Petroleum, which acquired a 49% stake in the company with the possibility of increasing its share this year, in 2021.

“We are very impressed by Cleantech Solar’s record of developing lasting relationships with multinational and regional corporations who are eager to implement subsidy-free renewable energy into their corporate strategies,” said Marc van Gerven, Shell’s then Vice President of Renewable Power.

Cleantech’s offtakers to date include Shell itself, at its lubricants plant in Taloja, Maharashtra, India; Bosch, at its first SMART factory in Thailand; Safran Landing Systems’ manufacturing plant in Malaysia; Molnlycke Health Care’s medical solutions manufacturing plant, also in Malaysia; and 19 Tesco Lotus stores across Thailand.

Most recently, pv magazine posted news of Cleantech Solar’s completion of four solar plants, totalling 4.2 MW of capacity on Cargill food and beverage production sites in Thailand.

The Elangperdana project will be one of Indonesia’s largest ever rooftop solar installations, and contributes to the country’s target to increase the share of renewables in its national energy mix to 23% by 2025.

Mursalie noted, “Situated in tropical Indonesia, the project will work in our favour, as sunlight is a very abundant natural resource here.”

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