Solar sector attracts $3.86 billion funding in April-June
The solar sector has attracted total funding of $ 3,857
million through 70 deals, including three Indian transactions, in the April-June
period this year, says a report.
The report that analysed funding on the basis of four
categories -- project funding, VC funding, debt funding and others, said there
were three Indian deals in the project funding category and one in project
M&A segment, wherein, sustainable energy solutions provider Fortum acquired
a solar power plant in Rajasthan. The three Indian deals that were listed in the
project funding category, include Acme Solar's $ 50 million loan for its 25-MW
photovoltaic power plant in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Welspun Energy's
financial closure of its upcoming 20-MW solar power project in Maharashtra.
Further, Welspun Energy, received around $ 8 million in funding from financial
institutions for its Karnataka solar project.
According to the Mercom Capital Group's second quarter
funding and M&A activity report for solar sector, the VC funding in the
solar sector continued to be subpar in the second quarter of 2013, with $ 189
million in VC funding in April-June period compared to $ 126 million last
quarter. Among the VC deals solar downstream companies received $ 128 million in
funding, Mercom Capital said. "With solar technology companies struggling,
investments have been going to downstream companies," Mercom Capital Group
CEO Raj Prabhu said. Prabhu further added that "investments into solar
technology companies haven't completely dried up. Small venture rounds are still
going to several niche technology companies instead of the larger deals that
were typical for thin film, CSP and CPV companies". Meanwhile, solar
M&A activity in Q2 2013 amounted to $ 1.27 billion in 18 transactions.
"Themes emerging out of this quarter's M&A activity included:
consolidation in the inverter market, strategic acquisitions, and acquisitions
of distressed assets/ companies," Mercom Capital added.
Tata Power Solar executes 2 MW captive solar power plant for Chennai Silks
Coimbatore-based Chennai Silks Group today made its foray
into solar energy sector, commissioning its first 2 MW captive solar power plant
here in Tirupur district, about 80 KMs from Coimbatore. The Rs 16 crore plant,
executed by Tata Power Solar (TPS) in a 'record time' of three months, was
expected to generate 3.1 Million Units of electricity in the first year of
operation, Group Managing Director, N K Nandagopal told reporters here. The
plant, inaugurated by Forest Minister M S M Anandan, would work under the
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism and the group would share the
energy generated with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation
(TANGEDCO) and in return will get an equivalent quantity of uninterrupted
electricity supply to its textile unit situated at a distance from this plant,
he said. An additional income of about Rs 3 to Rs.3.72 crore through trading of
REC was expected besides Rs.1.5 to Rs.2 crore in year as energy cost savings, he
claimed. The group has plans to add another 12 MW at the same location with an
investment of Rs.125 crore. A three MW plant would be commissioned by September
and another nine or 10 MW by March next year, Nandagopal later told PTI. Dr
Arulkumar P Shanmugasundram, Executive Vice President- Project and Chief
Technical Officer, TPS, Bangalore, said the investment made in the plant can be
ploughed back in a span of five to six years.
Vikram Solar bags 5-MW solar project in Madurai
Vikram Solar, a Kolkata based leading solar module
manufacturing company, announced that it would be installing a 5-MW solar power
facility for JVS Export, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, under REC mechanism. JVS Export is
a leading manufacturer and exporter of home textiles and the customers of JVS
include the likes of Wal-Mart, Lifestyle, Kohl's and Reliance Industries.
Gyanesh Chaudhary, managing director, Vikram Solar said, ''We are honoured to
get an opportunity to install our solar power plant, there. We are thankful to
JVS Export for giving us an opportunity to showcase our expertise in the state
of Tamil Nadu. I am confident that we will be able to successfully implement
this project in the given time schedule.''
IFC provides $3 million loan Azure's rooftop solar project in Gujarat
IFC, a member of World Bank, is providing $ 3 million loan to
independent energy producer Azure Power's rooftop solar India project in
Gujarat. IFC's investment in the subsidiary is expected to help avoid around
3,600 tons of carbon emissions a year, Azure Power said in a statement . The
company is constructing a 2.5 megawatt rooftop solar project in Gandhinagar that
will be connected to the state electricity grid. "With this, Azure Power
has forayed into distributed solar power generation. We are committed to driving
down cost of energy for end consumers," Azure Power's Chief Executive
Officer Inderpreet S Wadhwa said. Azure Power is an existing client of IFC and
has a current portfolio of about 55 megawatt of solar power projects in India.
"The project will assist the state in introducing public-private
participation to generate green energy at the household level. The project
supports reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," IFC Infrastructure
Director for Asia Anita George said.
WAAREE secures another EPC contract for 5MW thin-film solar
WAAREE Energies, an Indian PV manufacturer and project developer, has been on
a roll in the past few months and has been awarded yet another turnkey EPC
contract for a 5MW thin-film PV plant from Taxus Infrastructure & Power
Projects Pvt. The location of the project has not been disclosed. According to
the chairman of WAAREE Group, Hitesh Doshi, “WAAREE will be using 52k plus
solar thin-film PV modules for this project. We at WAAREE are committed to the
most efficient technology and manpower to execute the projects on time and
deliver the best to our customers. Timely execution of most complex projects is
the specialty of WAAREE. We are very keen to execute this 5MW thin-film project.”
This latest project follows hot on the heels of several other PV projects which
WAAREE has been awarded an EPC contract for. In August, the company secured an
EPC contract for a 5MW PV plant in Gujarat, India, from Avatar Solar.
Gujarat to host Asia's largest solar energy park
would house the largest solar energy park in Asia in two years, with a power
production capacity of 500 MW. This would be set up with an investment of around
Rs 8,000 crore flowing from companies such as GMR and Lanco, which have been
assigned generation capacities under the Gujarat Solar Mission.
Gujarat had announced a solar power policy in January 2009, with a target of
installing 1,000 MW capacity by 2012 and 3,000 MW by 2014. The state has already
signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 934 MW. The park, on the lines of an
industrial estate, is being developed by Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd. (GCPL),
as the sectoral nodal agency, on around 2,000 hectares of wasteland bordering
the Rann of Kutch, in Patan district.
When commissioned, the project would provide 800 million units of power. In
the first phase, 15 solar power generation companies would produce 176 MW and
Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation would set up a power pooling station.
The overall project cost in phase I would be Rs 1287 crore. This would include
Rs 351 towards the cost of land and power infrastructure and Rs 624 crore for
evacuation facilities. The Planning Commission has already approved a one-time
additional central assistance of Rs 210 crore for the development of the solar
park. The Asian Development Bank has approved a soft loan of USD 100 million for
the project. This includes development of a ‘smart grid’ for evacuation of
Heritage sites tap sun’s power, electricity bills dip
solar panels at Jantar Mantar and Safdarjung’s Tomb in New Delhi have helped
slash the electricity bills of these centrally protected monuments almost by
half. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is now thinking of expanding the
initiative and installing solar panels at 11 other heritage sites in the
capital. The panels at these two heritage sites were installed around six months
ago, following an initiative of the ASI and the Ministry of New and Renewable
The power bill for Jantar Mantar has seen a dip of Rs 5,000 per month i.e.
from monthly Rs 15,000 to Rs 10,000. At Safdarjung’s Tomb, where ASI also has
an office, the bill was reduced from Rs 34,000 to Rs 25,000 per month. The
daytime load at all heritage sites includes indoor lighting and fans,
ventilation, solar photovoltaic pumps for irrigation, information kiosks and
supply at the ticketing counters. The night load includes LED-based floodlights,
garden and outdoor lights.
Second batch of solar bidding in India sees applications for 2500MW of
to reports, India’s solar power sector is gathering steam, with 150 companies
rushing in to offer 2,500 megawatts of projects for the second round of bidding,
seven times the allocated capacity of 350 mw for which bids were invited,
raising hopes that electricity tariffs from the renewable source would fall
below Rs 10 a unit.
About 150 companies are in the fray for 218 projects worth Rs 3,500 crore in
the second round of projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru solar mission that aims
to add 20,000 mw of solar capacity in the decade. In the previous round, the
government had received bid applications for about 1,700 mw against an available
allocation of 150 mw solar power. The government will shortlist companies by the
second week of November.
These firms will submit financial bids by the end of next month. They will
compete by offering discounts to the prescribed tariff of Rs 17.91 per unit
fixed by the regulator. The previous round of the bidding saw established names
including Mahindra Solar-One, Azure Power, Lanco Infratech and IOCL as bidders.
But this time, the stakes are high due to increase in the number of big names.
“The response for the solar bidding has been better this year with several
serious and large players, both from the private and government sector, being a
part of the first list.
Big names like Reliance Solar, Lanco, Moser Baer, Tata etc. are some of the
bidders,” said an official of National Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited, a
subsidiary of NTPC and the nodal agency for solar power trade. “With
financially sound companies , the projects are likely to be of better quality
and will set up faster,” adds a senior official from the Ministry of New and
Renewable Energy. For the second round, the government had tweaked the existing
guidelines to help serious bidders. It increased the maximum size of the
projects from 5mw to 20 mw and allowed firms to bid for a total of 3 projects
having a total capacity of 50mw. “Given the increase in size per project ,
higher allocation allowed per company and the significant drop in module prices,
this round is set to see participation from larger companies with aggressive
pricing”, said Sanjay Chakrabarti, Partner, Ernst & Young. He added the foreign players may not participate due the current strain in
the global economy.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Authority’s had fixed a tariff of Rs
17.91 per unit of solar power. Against this, the government had received the
lowest bid of Rs 10.95 during the 2010 bidding.
Lanco Infra to invest Rs 1,700 crore in solar units
Solar Energy plans to infuse Rs 1700 crore for the second phase of India’s
first integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing special economic zone (SEZ)
project in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh. The investment will be used to
manufacture polysilicon, ingots, wafers, PV cells and modules with capacities
equivalent to 250 MW per year, said V Saibaba, CEO, Lanco Solar Energy. The SEZ
project, which commenced four months ago, is being developed in phases to put
Chhattisgarh in the global map of polysilicon production bases. The first phase
of the project, which involved an investment of Rs 1340 crore, will be fully
operational in a couple of months. The company is also strengthening its global
market and plans to build solar farms in Germany, France, Italy, the US and the
UK where it is already offering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)