Flow Energy: Leading the way in Sustainable Progress with Sustainable Energy

Kavitha Uthappa,FounderIndia is a sunshine country and this puts us at a leadership position in capacity generation and as such the demand needs to be created for clean sustainable renewable energy in the market. Kavitha Uthappa strongly believes that the full potential of renewable sources can realize mankind's energy needs and that sustainable progress through sustainable energy is the legacy we need to create. She also believes that we all need to do our part in this transition. This drove her to establish an organization which could not only facilitate but also educate about sustainable development. Thus, Flow Energy was born. Based out of Bengaluru, Flow Energy's singular focus is to source wind, solar and hydro power from reputed Independent Power Producers, and provides cost effective energy solutions to large HT Industries, Hospitals, Educational institutions, Commercial Establishments and Government Utilities.

The CEO's motivation to establish Flow Energy stemmed from the deep-rooted resentment that had built up while working in her previous firm as a partner. Kavitha's vision for a transparent and client centric business model was compromised and she eventually felt restricted and obstructed in keeping up the organization's commitments towards its consumers and suppliers. "This experience gave me the push I needed to start out on my own and the lessons learnt over the years was the launch pad upon which I built this firm that not only facilitates but also educates about sustainable development", adds Kavitha.

2 Models of Energy Procurement & Distribution
Flow Energy deals in various models through
which renewable energy can be procured and delivered. The company has 2 significant and essential forms of services to offer-open access power purchase and Roof top Solar. Open access has two types - third Party Power Purchase, and Group Captive Purchase. The consumer directly engages with the Generator/Supplier/Developer without any investment. Power Purchase agreements are made directly with Independent Power Producer (IPP). Group captive power plant is when a developer sets up a power plant for collective use of many industrial consumers having 26 percent equity in the plant and consumes 51 per cent of the power produced.

Roof top solar has two types again ­ OPEX and CAPEX. For Opex, developer invests in the solar power plant. The plant is set up at the client's facility. Clients only expense is the monthly solar bill based on the energy generated, typically at rates 20-40 percent cheaper than grid tariff. There is no Capex and performance risk for the client. Developer will be responsible for the O&M for the entire duration of the PPA. For Capex, developer requires to install the solar plant and client will take ownership of the asset after purchasing it from the Developer. A separate O&M Agreement can be signed.

Flow Energy has plans underway to set up its own power plants and look at both parallels of supply and aggregation

CEO's Journey
Sharing her experience, Kavitha says, "Flow Energy was born out my pure passion for the field. With the experience I gained, I realised that I could contribute more and this pushed me to create this Flow Energy. As in all nascent undertakings that begin out of passion, I too faced similar hurdles and realized it wasn't easy to build a flourishing entity. Being one of the youngest in the industry it was difficult in the beginning for prospective clients to take me seriously. However, not words, but deeds proved my mettle. Once the firm was established, I understood one of the biggest challenges was to hire the right people to work with me. Through trial and error today, I'm proud of my staff who are extremely dedicated and passionate about the work we do". Currently, Flow Energy's presence is localized within the city and the state, Kavitha intends to move energy interstate in the near future and tap into the markets across the country as grid coalition becomes more cooperative. Flow Energy has plans underway to set up its own power plants and look at both parallels of supply and aggregation.

When it is your own firm you don't have dedicated working hours. Kavitha too toiled a lot to make this work. As she explains, Kavitha used to wake up in the morning dreaming about her vision and went to sleep thinking about it. During the day she was working on it travelling and fixing meetings with clients and show-casing what she had to offer. "You have to push the wheel up the hill before you can ride it down towards your vision and mission", concludes Kavitha.