CIM Group Invests $40 Million in Solar Panel Cleaning Robotics Company Ecoppia
With this investment, the CIM Group has become the biggest investor in Ecoppia
CIM is a community-focused real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender, and developer. Ecoppia is a U.S.-based company providing automation and robotics solutions for large-scale solar projects. According to the press release, the investment would help Ecoppia reduce its cost of debt, stimulate technological developments, and expand geographically.
“This capital infusion will allow Ecoppia to continue its geographic expansion, as more and more regions realize the benefits of shifting robotic cleaning. It will also enable us to accelerate our innovative developments towards fully data-driven, automation- based solar operations & maintenance (O&M),” said Jean Scemama, CEO of Eccopia.
With this investment, CIM Group has become the largest investor in Ecoppia, the statement added.
Ecoppia said that it had secured new projects of around 10 GW capacity in the last three quarters despite the challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Following an extensive market analysis and due diligence, which CIM undertakes in its proven investment process, we recognized Ecoppia as the leading robotic player in the solar industry,” said Jennifer Gandin, Principal, Investments of CIM Group.
Ecoppia was the top supplier of robotic cleaning systems in India as of December 2019, according to Mercom’s India Solar Market Leaderboard 2020. The report featured the industry’s leaders as well as their market share and shipment rankings across the Indian solar supply chain.
Robotic cleaning of solar panels is gaining traction in India amid water scarcity. Cleaning robots eliminate the need for extensive manual labor and increase electricity generation. Most of the major developers have deployed robotic cleaning systems. The MNRE has also recommended the use of robotic cleaning technology, which uses less water for cleaning solar projects.
Last year, it was reported that Fortum chose Ecoppia to provide solar panel cleaning solutions across its solar projects in India, including Pavagada and Bhadla. While Pavagada solar park is in the state of Karnataka, Bhadla is in Rajasthan.
According to Mercom Research, Ecoppia had previously raised $13 million in 2017 from Swarth Group, GlenRock, Gandyr, and Harel Group Insurance and Finance. The company has now raised a total of over $53 million to date.
According to Mercom’s recently published 1H and Q2 Solar Funding and M&A Report, in 1H 2020, global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) in the solar sector was 74% lower with $210 million compared to $799 million raised in the first half of 2019.
Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.