Distributed Energy’s rooftop solar aggregator platform raises Rs 100 million funding

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Rooftop solar developer Distributed Energy has launched an online platform that connects credible renewable energy projects with investors. After comprehensive due diligence on several metrics, energy customers can have their fundable projects listed on its marketplace. Investors can explore and express interest in one or more of these at the click of a button.

The platform—which has already delivered 5 MW of energy to a range of companies in Southern India and Rwanda—has received Rs 100 million in funding from Singularity University’s Co-Chair for Energy and Environment and Angel investor Ramez Naam and from African business conglomerate Mount Meru.

Distributed Energy has been co-founded by Mathew Mazhuvanchery, Ruchir Punjabi and Sudhakar Kadavasal.

Speaking about their platform’s relevance for India, Distributed Energy co-founder Mathew Mazhuvanchery said, “India is among the most promising renewable energy markets in the world – especially in solar. We have one of the most refined supply chains in solar energy. However, access to capital to Indian companies for solar is limited. We believe that the platform, by opening up a new, reliable channel for investors, will help unlock capital and thus accelerate the deployment of renewable energy across India. The primary reason why the platform has gained quick traction is due to the economics of the model that works for both parties.”

Angel investor Ramez Naam added, “We have seen the platform model work well in distributed solar in other parts of the world. There’s a huge opportunity to bring the same solar model to commercial and industrial customers in India and Africa, saving customers money, and earning a return for project backers.”

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy through National Solar Mission has set a target of achieving 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by the end of 2022, of which 40 GW is to come from solar rooftop. Most of this 40 GW will be funded by private investors.

Distributed Energy deploys projects with standardised design using certified engineers and equipment. It matches funding with renewable energy projects and oversees the execution, operations and maintenance. The focus is on 100 kW to 5 MW solar rooftop projects across India and Africa.

After the project starts generating power, the platform will also manage the distribution of returns. The returns on these projects is usually in excess of 16% over the length of the power purchase agreement.