Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group and India’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer, has announced that its 75 MWp solar plant in Tamil Nadu is now operational. Now 75% of its energy consumption in Tamil Nadu and 60% throughout India is met through renewable energy generated from the solar rooftop, solar ground-mount, and wind-based plants.
The plant—located in Sivagangai district—was built by Hinduja Renewables, another firm from the Hinduja Group. It is one of India’s largest ‘group captive‘ solar plants serving a single client and is expected to generate over 120 million units of power annually.
Shom Hinduja, president, Alternative Energy & Sustainability Initiatives at Hinduja Group said the Hinduja Group is evaluating its operations globally and has planned similar ESG initiatives across the different companies.
“Sustainability is paramount to us at the Hinduja Group. Hinduja Renewables was set up to be the bridge between nations and companies to achieve their sustainability targets. Its mission is to positively impact humanity and conserve the environment through sustainable energy and mobility solutions. This project will enable Ashok Leyland to significantly reduce its carbon footprint, thereby helping it achieve its sustainability goals,” he added.
Vipin Sondhi, managing director and chief executive officer, Ashok Leyland, said, “As we march towards our vision of being among the Top 10 global commercial vehicle makers, it is equally important that we do this sustainably. Ensuring that our energy requirements come from renewables, is a critical part of this vision.
“With the start of operations of the Vepancolum Solar Plant, we have taken a massive leap in reducing our carbon footprint – of the total energy requirement, we will achieve renewable energy consumption of 75% in Tamil Nadu and 60% throughout India. Sourcing energy from this captive solar power plant will ensure abatement of 85,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is equal to planting 157487 trees, annually.”
Hinduja Renewables started constructing the solar plant in May 2020. Set up through its subsidiary, Prathama Solarconnect Energy, the plant has solar panels in a fixed-tilt mounting arrangement for peak energy production. Drones were used to relay back real-time information and progress. The plant was commissioned in nine months.
The company has implemented smart maintenance using data analytics and claims preventive and predictive maintenance systems will ensure best-in-class capacity utilization factor during the plant’s entire lifecycle. This project generated 500 direct jobs during the development phase and 20+ permanent jobs for plant operations.
The plant uses robotic cleaning technology for regular cleaning of solar modules, which is estimated to conserve 9 million liters of water annually. Additionally, in partnership with the Hinduja Foundation, Hinduja Renewables is implementing a slew of socio-economic measures to uplift communities surrounding the plant.
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