Today, India ranks third on renewable energy investment and plans, according to British Business Energy. It’s no surprise that the country, whose RE capacity had crossed 84 gigawatts (GW) mark by the end of November last year, aims to have 175 GW of installed renewable electricity capacity by 2022. For private players like Bengaluru-based REConnect Energy, there are significant opportunities to be grabbed.
Incorporated in 2009, and now led by Vishal Pandya (36) and Vibhav Nuwal (42), the company offers several solutions to support what it calls ‘grid Integration’ of stakeholders in the renewable energy segment. Noteworthy is its predictive analytics-based solutions that are aimed at arresting variability associated with renewables, making renewable energy generation more grid friendly. Further, its marketplace based solutions are specifically designed to accelerate renewable energy procurements among Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Consumers, democratising access to clean energy.
“We started REConnect to provide a one-stop solution to renewable energy generators and large consumers/ distribution companies to facilitate the trading of indigenous RECs certificates. It has also created a Digital Energy platform – GRIDConnect, to enable electric utilities (generation, transmission, distribution) to optimise grid management and asset management,” says Ramukar K, Director (Markets), REConnect Energy.
So far, the firm’s unique platform has empowered 12 electric utilities to the tune of about 65 GW of RE assets across India. This, it says, has done by helping them optimise renewable energy integration to the grid, minimising imbalance costs pertaining to renewables, and optimising energy dispatch and smart asset management.
“Today, we have over 2000 clients, including Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and electric distribution and transmission companies,” says Ramkumar, adding that the firm’s clientele includes Adani, Renew, NTPC, Siemens, Mahindra Susten, MSETCL, among others.
Business has been brisk, and the company clocked revenue of Rs 25 Crores in FY 2019-20. With a 100 plus strong team, it has been growing at a CAGR of 45% over the last five years. At the ETRISE Top MSMEs Ranking, REConnect was adjudged the joint winner in the India’s Top Performing MSMEs category.
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Despite the accolades, the going has not been easy. Ramkumar says policy uncertainties, coupled with fast-changing market dynamics, have been the key bottlenecks. According to him, there is a “constant disconnect” between the central and state policies leading to disputes around tariffs and curtailment of renewables. He is of the view that the non-implementation of renewable energy targets across many large states severely affects the entire value chain (comprising players in generation, transmission and distribution). And often, this issue cripples the performance of not just technology companies active in the segment, but also of service providers in the value chain, he opines.
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However, buoyed with the firm’s recent growth, Ramkumar reveals the team’s next target is to grow GRIDConnect as a horizontal platform enabling efficiencies for electric utilities by integrating renewables, electric vehicles, energy storage devices and smart meters through applied AI, IoT and automation.
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