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ReNew Power scouts for fresh investors to boost production

According to reports, ReNew Power Ventures, an independent renewable energy power producer in the country, is scouting for fresh investors, its founder said.”We are looking for high quality investors who have a good understanding of the renewable energy sector,” Sumant Sinha, founder chairman and CEO at Re-New Power, told ET.

Currently US investment bank Goldman Sachs owns the company, which has an installed wind power capacity of 375 mw.

“Our revenues consolidate into the parent account of Goldman Sachs and they directly monitor our growth,” said Sinha, who is a former chief operating officer at Suzlon Energy, one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world. Goldman Sachs has invested about $320 million (approx Rs 1,980 crore in current exchange rate) in ReNew Power in two phases, making it the largest investment so far in Indian renewable energy generation industry.

“Their investment in the initial stage helped us adopt stringent policies and put in place financial parameters,” Sinha said.

Goldman invested $250 million in the first phase and announced another $135 million in the second phase. ReNew Power, which has wind power projects totalling 300 mw in the pipeline for next year, has so far spent the whole first round investment and half of the second round of funding.

Sinha said if the company finds another private equity investor, then it may request Goldman not to release the rest of the money.

“We are in talks with private equity investors, both domestic and foreign ones, and if we get a good deal, we might ask Goldman to hold the balance amount of their investment,” he said.

He also said the company hopes to achieve a clean energy portfolio of 500 mw by March 2014. For this, it is planning to look beyond wind and bet on solar as well. Apart from participating in the upcoming second phase of the National Solar Mission, ReNew Power might also consider acquiring small independent solar energy players.

“Solar, especially the off-grid segment is quite scattered and there are no big names in the sector,” Sinha said. “We might look for some acquisitions in the solar space.”

He said that solar was supposed to replace diesel in the industrial user segment. “Better policy guidance and consolidation in the sector could help solar achieve grid parity in the next 2-3 years,” he added. India has installed wind capacity of 19,993 mw and 2,079 mw solar energy. Price of wind power is at par with conventional power at Rs 5-5.5 per mw whereas solar power prices linger around Rs 8-9.

Sinha said that ReNew Power, founded in 2011, plans to take part in government initiatives and do EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) to support their independent power projects.

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