Betting big on India’s renewable energy space, Japan’s SoftBank Group has signed an agreement with China’s Golden Concord Group Ltd (GCL) to set up a joint venture firm with a $930-million investment. The JV firm will manufacture and sell solar equipment in India.
GCL will hold a 40 per cent stake in the JV, while the remaining will be held by SoftBank. The firm, which intends to work on the photovoltaic (PV) technology that is used in solar panels, will manufacture PV ingots, wafers, batteries and component, GCL said in a regulatory filing in China.
The JV firm will have a production capacity of 4 GW, which will be implemented in two phases.
The agreement was signed between GCL’s subsidiary, GCL Group Holdings Ltd, and Softbank Investment Advisors (UK) Ltd, an arm of the Softbank Group, on March 29, it added.
Softbank Investment Advisors will fund the project through its Softbank Vision Fund, which is the world’s largest technology investment fund, with backing from Apple, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund among others. Vision Fund, which had raised more than $93 billion in May 2017, plans also to invest more than $10 billion in Saudi Electricity Co.
The JV firm will be set up by energy conglomerate GCL Group and Softbank Investment directly or through their affiliates or subsidiaries. GCL Group will assist the JV firm to reduce production costs and launch products, apart from providing technology and process support.
Softbank Investment will assist the JV company to obtain project land and ownership approvals, and in obtaining all subsidies and benefits being offered by the Central and State Governments, it added.
In 2015, SoftBank announced an investment of up to $20 billion along with Foxconn Technology and Bharti Enterprises in solar energy in India.
In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set a target of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022, out of the total 175 GW of electricity the country intends to produce from renewable. This was termed as the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme.