SunEdison to invest $100 m in India this year

M. Ramesh Chennai | Updated on January 21, 2011

Many private equity investors were interested in partnering SunEdison and a deal could be struck in about three months, says SunEdison President.

Baltimore, US-based SunEdison intends to invest $100 million in solar projects in India, the company's President, Mr Carlos Domenech, told Business Line today.

SunEdison is implementing solar projects in Gujarat (25 MW), Rajasthan (5 MW) and Uttar Pradesh (1 MW), and hopes to be active in many other States, as and when they come out with their solar policies.

Mr Domenech said that that SunEdison was “committed to India” and wanted a big play in the solar power field.

SunEdison's solar farms are of PV (crystalline) technology — its associate firm, MEMC is a leading producer of silicon wafers.

Mr Domenech said today one KW of equipment costs around $3,500 (Rs 1.5 lakh) and would produce 1,500 to 1,800 units of electricity a year, depending upon the location.

Mr Pashupathy Gopalan, Managing Director, SunEdison Energy India Pvt Ltd, said that ‘solar energy' is an emerging area and the learning of technology is growing at a rapid clip. He said that the annual reduction rate in equipment cost is between 10 and 15 per cent.

At this rate, solar power would achieve ‘grid parity', that is, cost not more than what today's grids sell power at, by 2014-15.

Each project in India would be put up by a separate legal entity.

Mr Domenech said that SunEdison was interested in raising both debt and equity for the projects from within India. He said that many private equity investors were interested in partnering SunEdison and that a deal could be struck in about three months.

Mr Domenech said that the ‘programme-based approach' taken by India – a reference to the National Solar Mission – was the right way to go, as it provided a long-term view to investors.

He said that governments should incentivise solar power so that a manufacturing eco-system develops.

Published on January 21, 2011

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