Ashok Leyland, the flagship Company of the Hinduja Group and India’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer, announced today that it has increased the sourcing of clean energy to 60% for its countrywide operations. Now 75% of its energy consumption in Tamil Nadu and 60% throughout India is procured through the solar rooftop, solar ground mount, and wind-based renewable energy.
Hinduja Renewables, part of the Hinduja Group, is focused on building sustainable and clean energy plants in India and has built a solar plant for Ashok Leyland, with a capacity of 75 MWp, located in Sivagangai district, in Tamil Nadu. This plant is one of the largest group captive solar plants in India serving a single client. The plant is expected to generate over 120 million units of power annually.
Sharing his comments on this milestone achievement, Mr. Shom Hinduja, President, Alternative Energy & Sustainability Initiatives at Hinduja Group said, “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. The Hinduja Group is evaluating its operations globally and has planned similar ESG initiatives across the different companies”
Mr. Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “As we march towards our vision of being among the Top 10 Global CV 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 85000 tonnes of carbon emissions which is equal to planting 157487 trees, annually. We are committed to this path of sustainability and will work towards a greener tomorrow.”
The journey for this solar plant started in May 2020. Set up through its subsidiary, Prathama Solarconnect Energy Pvt. Ltd. It started with site selection in Vepancolum village, Sivagangai district, of Tamil Nadu, followed by extensive site preparation. The Solar Panels are 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 and is expected to generate over 120 million units of power annually. The latest software and applications are installed for real-time monitoring and optimisation. The company has implemented smart maintenance using data analytics. Preventive and predictive maintenance systems will ensure best in class capacity utilisation factor, during the plant’s entire lifecycle. This project generated 500 direct jobs during the development phase and 20+ permanent jobs for plant operations.
Over the past few months, Ashok Leyland has relentlessly focused on sustainability with many successful initiatives. Its headquarters in Chennai, India has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building Certificate. Today all plants of Ashok Leyland harvest rainwater, have low flow water systems to minimise water consumption and recycle all waste to avoid it going to the landfills. This has led Ashok Leyland to be a net water positive company.
In line with Ashok Leyland’s water positive initiative, the solar plant uses robotic cleaning technology, for regular cleaning of solar modules. This innovative methodology is estimated to conserve 9 million litres of water annually. Additionally, in partnership with the Hinduja Foundation, Hinduja Renewables is implementing a slew of socio-economic measures for the upliftment of communities surrounding the plant.