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Tata Power Eyes Renewable Energy for Growth

According to reports, Tata Power Co.  plans to expand its renewable power capacity to 6,000 megawatts by 2020, a senior company executive said.

India’s top private power utility by capacity is also in talks to acquire renewable assets in India to fuel its expansion, Rahul Shah, Chief Business Development-India Business and Renewables, said.

Faced with a shortage of coal, which fires more than half of the country’s installed power generation capacity, Indian utilities are looking at tapping alternative electricity sources to maintain growth.

The government offers various tax incentives to encourage the development of renewable energy. It has targeted increasing the share of renewables to 15% of total installed capacity by 2020 from 6% now.

Mr. Shah said the company’s move will help achieve “quick returns” on investments and also reduce its carbon emissions.

Tata Power’s generation capacity is 6,899 MW now, of which 6,047 MW is coal-based and the rest renewable.

In a bid to fast-track the capacity addition, Tata Power is in talks with many companies whose core business isn’t power generation to buy their wind and solar power assets set up to obtain tax incentives, Mr. Shah said.

“The financial market is stressed and their [the companies’] core business needs cash. They are seeing if they can monetize non-core businesses,” Mr. Shah said.

The company will focus on building a portfolio in order to attract investors as its renewable growth plans would require funds.

Tata Power will consider multiple options to raise funds for its renewable power units, including roping in a strategic investor and a maiden public offering.

Mr. Shah didn’t elaborate on the size of the funds it would need for the planned expansion.

“We never have enough cash. It is a question of timing it. We obviously would want that somebody ascribes a good value to all the efforts and the risk that you have taken, and that can best be monetized when you have actually demonstrated you have a good operating portfolio,” Mr. Shah said.

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