According to reports, Baltimore, US-based SunEdison intends to invest $100 million in solar projects in India, the company’s President, Mr Carlos Domenech, told Business Line today. According to the report, many private equity investors are interested in partnering SunEdison and a deal could be struck in about three months, says SunEdison President.
SunEdison is implementing solar projects in Gujarat (25 MW), Rajasthan (5 MW) and Uttar Pradesh (1 MW), and hopes to be active in many other States, as and when they come out with their solar policies.
Mr Domenech said that that SunEdison was “committed to India” and wanted a big play in the solar power field.
SunEdison’s solar farms are of PV (crystalline) technology — its associate firm, MEMC is a leading producer of silicon wafers.
Mr Domenech said today one KW of equipment costs around $3,500 (Rs 1.5 lakh) and would produce 1,500 to 1,800 units of electricity a year, depending upon the location.
Mr Pashupathy Gopalan, Managing Director, SunEdison Energy India Pvt Ltd, said that ‘solar energy’ is an emerging area and the learning of technology is growing at a rapid clip. He said that the annual reduction rate in equipment cost is between 10 and 15 per cent.
At this rate, solar power would achieve ‘grid parity’, that is, cost not more than what today’s grids sell power at, by 2014-15.
Each project in India would be put up by a separate legal entity.
Mr Domenech said that SunEdison was interested in raising both debt and equity for the projects from within India. He said that many private equity investors were interested in partnering SunEdison and that a deal could be struck in about three months.
Mr Domenech said that the ‘programme-based approach’ taken by India – a reference to the National Solar Mission – was the right way to go, as it provided a long-term view to investors.
He said that governments should incentivise solar power so that a manufacturing eco-system develops.
Just a few days back, Rahul Sankhe, business development director of SunEdison Energy India Private Ltd, criticised certain aspects of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and had said that ” regulations like only one solar plant of 5 MW capacity per producer will not help India reach a target of 20,000 MW by 2022 as envisaged in the JNNSM.” He also said that the policy provides no long-term visibility to producers like SunEdison. He also said “The focus is purely on cost. What matters is the cost of every unit produced.”
However it seems like Mr. Carlos Domenech, President, SunEdison, has said above that the National Solar Mission is the right way to go, as it provided a long-term view to investors. Also Mr. Pashupathy Gopalan, Managing Director, SunEdison Energy India Pvt Ltd has above said that solar power would achieve ‘grid parity’, that is, cost not more than what today’s grids sell power at, by 2014-15.
SunEdison is a big stakeholder in the Solar PV ecosystem in India and has been aggressive in bidding for projects and taking over a number of allotted projects from other developers. Panchabuta would follow these developments closely.
With regards to their announcment for raising funds from PE’s the debt market is witnessing some interesting developments and as Panchabuta understands from industry sources, that certain institutions like IDBI and IFCI are now taking the lead along with IFC and are considering forming a consortium to fund Solar Projects.