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ReNew Power steps into solar

According to reports, Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power Ventures, which has all along been in the wind sector, has now taken its first step in the solar energy industry.

ReNew Power recently signed a power purchase agreement with the Government of Madhya Pradesh to sell solar power from a 50-MW plant the company would set up in the state.

The plant will begin electricity generation in six months, the company’s Chairman and CEO, Sumant Sinha, told BusinessLine. ReNew Power will get ₹6.90 per kWhr of electricity produced for 20 years.

In 2011, ReNew Power, which was set up by Sumant Sinha, former CFO of the Aditya Birla group and son of former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, made headlines when it attracted ₹1,000 crore of investments from Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking and investment managing firm.

Since then, ReNew Power has been putting its money in wind and has built up a wind power portfolio of 470 MW. This would go up to 600 MW by the end of this calendar year, Sinha, a former executive of the wind turbine manufacturer, said Suzlon.

ReNew Power has set itself a target of 1,000 MW by 2015 and is confident that the achievement would not be too wayward.

In response to a question, Sinha said the company was not getting the ‘generation-based incentive’, which the Government had promised to pay those wind power producers who had registered themselves under the incentive scheme.

(The Government gave an incentive of 50 paise per kWhr of electricity produced with a cap of ₹62 lakh per MW of installed capacity, till the scheme ended in March 2012. The incentive was brought back last year, but the cap was raised to ₹1 crore a MW.)

Terming the situation as “obviously not good”, Sinha said that ReNew Power was still able to pay interest on its loans even though cash flows were affected by the incentives coming.

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