“We have always believed in quality over quantity”: Interview with Amplus Solar’s Dilip Mehta

Dilip Mehta, chief operating officer, Amplus Solar

Amplus Solar, a leading distributed energy company, provides low-carbon clean energy solutions to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. The company specialises in setting up on-site solar projects and off-site solar farms. It is diversifying into new segments such as battery storage, residential solar, and electric vehicle-based logistics solutions. In an interview with Power Line, Dilip Mehta, chief operating officer, Amplus Solar, discussed the company’s achievements, initiatives undertaken, challenges and future plans…

What have been some of the key highlights for Amplus Solar in the past one year or so? 

Amplus has been on a remarkable journey of diversification and growth in re­cent years. We continue to be a market leader in India’s commercial and industrial (C&I) opex segment. The key recent developments in the company are:

  • Our transition from state transmission utility (STU)-connected projects to projects connected to the interstate transmission system (ISTS) network. Our first project in this space is being set up in Bikaner, Rajasthan. This 300 MW ISTS-connected open-access project is also our largest tracker-ba­sed project. We anticipate its commissioning in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.
  • Last year, we forayed into the wind energy sector with our maiden wind-solar hybrid project (180 MW), in Tamil Nadu. We anticipate the project to be commissioned in the first qu­ar­ter of next year. We are also augmen­ting capacity in hybrid mode at our Veera plant in Gadag, Karnataka.
  • Furthermore, Amplus has built capabilities to deliver round-the-clock re­ne­wable energy to its customers th­ro­u­gh various flexible arrangements fr­om its ISTS and STU-connected solar wind projects. In addition to renewable energy, Amplus has ventured into the distributed green hydrogen space.

What have been the company’s operational and financial highlights in the past two years? 

Amplus has achieved exceptional plant availability and simultaneous grid availability across portfolios. We have achiev­ed an almost five-fold increase in our op­erational capacity to more than 1 GW in the C&I market, spanning across on­site and offsite projects. We have generated and de­livered 1,434 MUs of clean electricity to end consu­mers in the past one year.

What are some of the key initiatives and technological interventions undertaken/planned by the company? 

Amplus holds a prominent position in India’s solar sector, particularly in the C&I domain. We have achieved this by be­ing open to ideas and innovations that help us provide customised solutions to end consumers, and increase the efficiency and profitability of our operations. We have been using HawkAI, our in-house remote monitoring tool, for preventative and predictive maintenance of solar projects, data manageme­nt, and customer management acro­ss the country. Our HawakAI system is also deployed to monitor solar assets within our group located in Malaysia and the UAE. The integration of module cleaning robots for the upcoming project in Bika­ner, Rajasthan, is a significant step towar­ds sustainable operations. Through the im­plementation of 100 per cent robotic cleaning, we will be saving nearly 50 million litres of water per annum. This ac­hievement not only highlights our dedication to cutting-edge technology but also our unwavering commitment to efficient resource utilisation.

What are the biggest issues and challenges facing the company? How are these being ad­dressed? 

The prevailing uncertainty in the policy (regulatory) fra­mework remains a significant roadblock to the grow­th of the C&I segment. Fur­ther, there are supply chain-related issues for key components, such as mo­dules and wind turbines, in the country. As a company, we follow a cautious approach and believe in taking calculated yet measured steps toward new business opportunities. Typically, we maintain a short development cycle. This helps withstand any capital cost fluctuations.

What are the company’s future plans? What are the key priority areas? 

At Amplus, we have always believed in quality over quantity. Our growth plans are centred around the principle of being “unit profitable”, rather than solely foc­using on increasing mega­watts. While expanding our capacity is important, it is equally important that each unit we add contributes to our profitability and sustains our long-term success. This mindset aligns with our commitment to responsible and sustainable growth. We are also equally bullish on the residential business, and with “HomeScape”, our product in the residential space, we want to provide end consumers with a technology-intensive quality residential roof­top solution.