Daimler India Commercial Vehicles announced that it has set up a 300 kW solar power plant at a cost of Rs 4 crore to meet the ‘solar purchase obligation (SPO)’ mandated by the Tamil Nadu government.


For the German automotive major, this is but a tiny project but the significance of it does not lie in the capacity of solar plant or the size of investments. This shows that Daimler has taken the lead in conforming to SPO even as most other companies are waiting for the obligations to formally kick-in. (The rules, in this regard, are yet to come out.)


Daimler’s solar plant has been put up in the company’s warehouse and features over a thousand polycrystalline silicon modules. The solar plant is connected to the grid but the power it produces will be fully utilised by the commercial vehicles plant.


Furthermore, Daimler says that this is only the “first project” and “will take this further.” The solar industry has been abuzz for some time with the news of Daimler seeking to put up a 1.5 MW project. Indeed, Business Line has learnt that another automobile major, Renault Nissan, which too has a car plant near Chennai, is also looking at setting up solar power plants.


Daimler produces the premium Mercedes Benz cars as well as trucks. The company has been producing trucks from a greenfield plant near Chennai for the past one year, which are sold under the name Bharat Benz. “We have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint,” the Managing Director & CEO of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Marc Llistosella, has commented in a press release.


“Daimler’s example is likely to be followed by other companies as they would not like to be seen as laggards in this, especially in the eyes of the state government, notes Vineeth Vijayaraghavan, an industry observer and the Founder-Editor of Panchabuta,” an online renewable energy newsletter. “More so because today most colleges in the State, who are also covered by the SPO, are not waiting for the rules to come out—most of them find economic sense in putting up solar projects,” says Vineeth.



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