Daily News Wrap-Up: Switch Mobility, Siemens Sign MoU to Push E-Mobility in India

Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:

April 16, 2021


Auto manufacturer Ashok Leyland’s U.K. arm Switch Mobility has partnered with Siemens Limited to promote electric mobility in the Indian commercial vehicle market. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies commits to support zero-emission mobility through the lowest total cost of ownership. As part of the MoU, Siemens Financial Services, the financing unit of Siemens AG, will consider a minority investment in OHM Global Mobility, the eMaas platform company to be formed as a subsidiary of Switch Mobility Automotive Limited.

GE Power India’s board has approved the acquisition of a 50% stake in NTPC GE Power Services for ₹720 billion (~$9.57 million). The company said in a BSE filing that the cost of acquisition or the price at which the shares are acquired is a cash consideration. The acquisition is expected to be completed by April 30, 2021. Following the acquisition, the company will modernize the existing power plants and partner with NTPC Limited. The investment and joint venture are expected to strengthen its portfolio and open business avenues for future projects.

NHPC Limited has decided to form a joint venture (JV) with Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Limited (JKSPDCL) to set up an 850 MW hydroelectric project on the Chenab river basin. Slated to be formed in the shareholding ratio of 51% (NHPC Ltd) and 49% (JKSPDCL), the partnership will establish a company under the name of ‘Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited.’ The company will have an authorized share capital of ₹16 billion ($212.68 million) divided into ₹1.6 billion ($21.26 million) equity shares of the face value of ₹10 (~$0.13) each.

California-based solar energy firm Sol Systems has announced the completion of solar energy systems totaling 6.5 MW at seven Walmart stores across the U.S. state. The program includes solar panels installed on rooftops and parking lot carports and offsets the average energy use of nearly 1,000 homes.

Canada’s Northland Power has forayed into the Spanish renewables market by acquiring a 540 MW capacity wind and solar portfolio and concurrent $900 million equity financing. The seller is an investment fund set up by asset manager Plenium and Bankinter. The deal will fund the acquisition as well as projects within the company’s identified 4 to 5 GW renewable development pipeline. The acquisition of the 33 operating assets, including onshore wind (424 MW), solar PV (66 MW), and concentrated solar (50 MW), has placed Northland among the top 10 renewable power operators in Spain and created a growth platform in the renewables market.

Viper Networks has inked a $150 million joint venture agreement with BIET Technologies Group to launch renewable energy projects. The clean energy power generation projects are slated to be deployed in several countries, including the U.S., South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Malawi. As part of the JV, an innovative hybrid solar photovoltaic and thermal energy collector (PV-T) will be set up to generate power round the clock. The process will use a simple hot water storage to eliminate hurdles associated with contemporary solar technologies in concentrating solar power with molten salt thermal storage and photovoltaics with batteries.

Renewable energy operator Power Factors has acquired European renewable energy management platform Greenbyte AB to become the global renewable energy software the market leader. The transaction closed on April 14, 2021. The combined entity supports more than 75GW of wind, solar, and energy storage assets globally. The move aims to deliver 100% renewable energy to the firm’s customers. Over time, the two platforms are expected to converge, bringing together the best practices of both platforms into a single unified toolset for the effective management and operation of large fleets of renewable energy assets.

SUSI Partners, a private fund manager, has acquired 90 MW of U.K. battery storage projects for sustainable infrastructure investments. RINA supported SUSI Partners by providing full technical due diligence along with assistance during the procurement. The acquisition pertains to four lithium-ion battery storage assets in the U.K. The transactions, which involved three front-of-the-meter utility-scale battery storage assets in the U.K. with a cumulative capacity of 40 MW in construction or operation and an additional 50 MW in the tendering phase in Scotland, mark SUSI’s entry into the fast-moving U.K. battery storage market.

Electric two-wheeler manufacturer Okinawa Autotech has announced a strategic partnership with Welectric, a company that provides electric two-wheelers on lease rental to various corporations and individuals. With this partnership, the two firms will collaborate with companies involved in last-mile delivery operations across India to help them switch their two-wheeler delivery fleet to electric vehicles. Welectric, which already has over 150 electric two-wheelers, plans to scale up its fleet to over 2,000 in the next 12 months. The partnership will allow Welectric to procure electric scooters from Okinawa, including the latest Okinawa Dual, India’s first customizable B2B electric two-wheeler launched in January this year to propel ‘services on wheels.’

Sterlite Power and Vinci Energia have formalized the first acquisition of issuance of debentures convertible into shares for vineyards project. In the final phase of implementation, the transaction under this relevant fact foresees R$ 149 million (~$26.14) in debentures to develop Sterlite Power’s portfolio projects. The investment amount can be converted into shares with an 80% purchase option when the project is complete in this year. The remaining 20% can be purchased within 190 days. With an initial investment of R$ 395 million (~$69.30), the project includes the construction of 112 km of transmission lines, implementation of two new 496 MV substations, and the expansion of four substations in the regions of Garibaldi, Bento Gonçalves, Lajeado, and Bagé.

Electric vehicle startup Etrio has joined hands with two-wheeler logistics startup Zypp Electric to scale up the latter’s last-mile delivery with a three-wheeler fleet. As part of the association, 100 Etrio flagship brand Touro three-wheelers will be operational soon, which will scale up to 1,000 three-wheelers in the next six to eight months. Zypp will deploy Etrio’s Touro Mini in Delhi NCR and gradually to other parts of the country. Some of the customers for which Touro would be deployed include Swiggy, Zomato, Big Basket, and Apollo Pharmacy.

EDF has installed 100,000 smart meters in India under its contract with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), an energy service company under the  Ministry of Power. This forms the first large-scale prepaid smart meter solution to be deployed in India, marking the completion of the first stage of the contract and the beginning of the commercial roll-out of 5 million smart meters installation across India, nearly half of which will be installed in Bihar. The contract was awarded to EDF in association with Accenture Solutions Private Limited (India) in 2019. The program covers the design of an advanced metering infrastructure, the proper installation of the smart meters across India, integration of the smart meters with an existing billing system of electricity distribution companies, and operation and maintenance of the whole system for a period of six-and-half years.


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