According to reports, the European Investment Bank on Friday announced a euro 200 million (Rs. 1,400 crore) longterm loan to State Bank of India to finance mega-solar projects in the country. The loan will support a total investment of euro 650 million in five different large-scale photo-voltaic solar power projects for India’s National Solar Mission. Four schemes, with a generation capacity of 530MW have been identified for the purpose.
The loan was announced, ahead of the inauguration by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of the EIB’s first permanent presence in India, by EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice-President Andrew McDowell, responsible for the India and South Asia operations.
“Large scale investment in renewable power is essential to enhance affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. Unlocking new investment in large scale solar generation is crucial to ensure that renewable energy plays a leading role in India’s energy mix in the years ahead,” said McDowell, who had started a four-day visit to India.
This new project reflects the shared commitment of India and European Union to tackle climate change and implement the Paris Climate Agreement, he added.
SBI Managing Director B. Sriram said: “The new cooperation between SBI and EIB will scale up investment in large-scale solar power generation across India close cooperation between technical and financial teams from both institutions will ensure that world-class projects are supported.”
The 20-year EIB loan, facilitated by SBI Capital Markets, will support individual solar power generation projects in Telangana, Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.
Since 1993, the EIB – owned by 28 member states of the European Union – has financed projects totalling 1.7 billion euros (around Rs. 11,900 crore).
During their visit, the EIB delegation will meet top officials of India Renewable Energy Development Agency and India Infrastructure Finance Ltd to discuss future support for renewable energy investments in India.