According to reports, Shivanand Nimbargi, managing director and CEO of Green Infra spoke to Young Turks about his plans for a cleaner and greener source of electricity.
In the past year, Nimbargi has managed to add over 100 megawatts in capacity and turn in a turnover of Rs 150 crore. Green Infra is now targeting 3 GW of operational capacity by 2015.
Shivanand Nimbargi, 45, spent the last 22 years working in the manufacturing sector. But in 2011, he decided to go off the beaten track and join Green Infra.
Founded in 2008 and promoted by IDFC private equity, Green Infra is a clean energy, independent power producer. It is India’s only power producer that caters to all five verticals of renewable energy – wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and energy efficiency. It was a chance to work for a better planet that excited Nimbargi.
Nimbargi says, “The basic difference between us and rest of the players in the renewable Independent Power Producer (IPP) segment is that we are one of those companies which is focused on all the forms of renewable energy. Most of the others are actually focused either on wind or solar or hydro or on biomass. That is the biggest differentiator for us. Going forward we also intend to get into energy trading and heavily promote energy efficiency areas. We have already done an investment in energy efficiency with LED manufacturing company.”
He adds, “Our revenue model is basically selling power. We sell power either to discoms or to third party customers through a third party sale or through group captive sale.”
Green Infra currently has one operational solar power plant in Gujarat and six wind power projects in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. It is working on harnessing the power of water with three hydropower projects underway in Himachal Pradesh and a rice straw fired power generation plant in Bihar.
Shivanand and his team of 70 also look to growth through turnkey projects, technology partnerships and acquisitions with numerous other projects in the pipeline. Green Infra’s strategy has been rewarded with the company winning the ‘Best Performing Renewable Independent Power Producer Award’ by Power Line Awards 2012.
Explaining company’s future strategy, Nimbargi says, “We are now looking at developing projects on a green-field basis. We have signed expression of interest with government of Karnataka for 4500 megawatts of wind development. We are already developing about 500-600 megawatts of wind in Karnataka alone. Similar strategy is being deployed in the state of Rajasthan and Gujarat and Andhra. We are looking at turnkey solutions that wind turbine offer us. Solar, we are looking at a land banking strategy, which is being able to identify areas with very high solar insulation levels, develop them and take it forward from there. Of course acquisition is always a route to add huge capacities.”
Promoter IDFC private equity pumped in Rs 440 crore. Now, Green Infra is looking to raise additional Rs 1,000 crore for expansion. With a current turnover of Rs 155 crore, they hope to close at Rs 250 crore in FY13. The company’s plans are not limited by the vision of its management, but by the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the sector.
On renewable energy Nimbargi says, “Renewable being a new sector, which is getting developed, a lot of support in terms of the policy and regulatory framework is important. It is not still a developed technology or a developed industry per se. So, from that perspective the biggest challenges are on the policy and regulatory side. The other thing, which is there, is on the grid side. Transmission and distribution is really weak at this moment, which can recently be seen by the failure that we had. So, those are the main challenges. With a right policy framework, we have seen some good policy initiatives from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and from state. So, we look forward to seeing some more positive steps in that direction which can help us boost our capacity addition quickly.”
Without urgent government intervention, the power sector will see another collapse. With support coming in from state government, Shivanand hopes to grow capacity from the current 240 megawatts to 3 GW by 2015. But, to achieve that target he needs more than the support of just family and friends.