“Ministry of New and Renewable Energy wants the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to succeed-Projects will be financed”, said Dr. Ashvini Kumar, Director, MNRE speaking to the audience at the 3’rd Renewable Energy Conference in Hyderabad last week. Dr. Ashvini Kumar was moderating a session on “India: The dawn of a new solar superpower”.
There were a lot of developers in the audience that brought up the difficulty of financing the solar projects. Further, with the timelines of financial closure for these projects approaching in the middle of June, a number of developers are working very hard to achieve financial closure of their projects.
Further, there was a lot of questions with regard to the reverse bidding in the first stage of the first phase and the aggressive tariffs quoted and how it had hurt the financing of such projects.
Dr. Kumar did mention that the ministry has been in active discussion with a number of bankers including State Bank of India and that projects will be financed and mentioned that the developers were all serious as the government has made sure that they have all signed the conditions with stringent bid bond conditions that can be enforced if time lines are not adhered to.
With 37 projects being awarded, Panchabuta understands that 36 companies have signed their PPA’s in early January and that these projects have to achieve financial closure by the middle of June as per conditions.
A number of entrepreneurs including Tejpreet Chopra, former chief executive of GE India and Rahul Sankhe, business development director of SunEdison Energy India Private Ltd, criticised certain aspects of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission earlier, though it seems like SunEdison will be one of the biggest winners of the National Solar Mission. Recently Pashupathy Gopalan, Managing Director, SunEdison Energy India Private Limited has said that the Indian budget was a pragmatic one.
As Panchabuta has earlier said, we believe that it is too early to take a call on the solar mission and eventually it will be interesting to see which of these projects do actually happen. However we are cautiously optimistic and will keep a close watch on which of these projects do achieve financial closure before July which will be a very important milestone for the projects to succeed.