According to reports, two French green energy companies, EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) and EREN, have acquired 25% stake each in ACME Solar Energy Ltd, the solar energy arm of New Delhi-based ACME Cleantech Solutions in a Rs 550 crore deal.
EDF EN is the renewable energy arm of French state-run utility Electricite De France SA. The Rs 650 crore ACME Cleantech has a current solar power generation capacity of 17.5 Megawatt (MW). Also, ACME Solar is developing two solar projects of 25 Mw capacity each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
As part of the deal, the French companies will invest Rs 550 crore over three years in ACME’s plans to set up solar capacity in India. “In the first phase, we will set up 200 Mw with an investment of Rs 1,600 crore. Around 70% of this would be debt. Of the rest, EDF will invest Rs 275 crore while we would put in Rs 150 crore. In the second phase, too, 200 Mw will be set up,” ACME Cleantech Chairman Manoj Kumar Upadhyay said.
He added recent cost reduction in solar and cost increase in conventional power has shown huge potential for solar to compete and “the EDF EN & EREN partnership will help us scale up solar energy generation and play important role in the renewable sector.”
According to EDF EN’s Chief Executive Antoine Cahuzac, the partnership will enable EDF establish its position in the solar power market “in a country with a high level of demand for renewable energy and presenting considerable resource potential”.
EDF EN will give ACME Solar access to its engineering experience and research and development facility in France where the two companies will conduct joint research to lower the costs of solar power generation. EDF EN is currently present in Europe and North American markets. The company operates 6,538 Mw of solar and wind electricity generation capacity.
EREN will give ACME access to PV modules and other products, according to a joint statement. The French company is present in solar and wind energy space in France, Greece, Italy and Israel.