Adani eyes SunEdison’s Indian solar assets: Jayant Parimal

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Mumbai: Gautam Adani-led Adani Group’s renewable energy unit is looking at a proposal from merchant bankers appointed by SunEdison Inc. to acquire a stake in the latter’s solar power assets in India, a top company official said.

Adani Green Energy Ltd, the group’s solar unit, has received a proposal and is evaluating the same, chief executive officer Jayant Parimal said in Mumbai on Friday.

SunEdison’s India unit is in talks with several investors to attract investment in its projects after the US-based renewable energy giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in its home market, Mint reported on 22 April.

“We are seeing interest from several large private investors as well as strategics,” Pashupathy Gopalan, president, Asia Pacific, at SunEdison, told Mint on Friday.

SunEdison has built 700 megawatt (MW) of solar capacity in India till date and has about 1.7 gigawatt (GW) of yet-to-be-constructed projects. The company is in need of equity for completing the committed projects in India.

SunEdison has appointed Rothschild as its banker to find potential equity partners for its India projects and has approached multiple potential buyers including overseas financial buyers, people familiar with the matter told Mint.

An equity partner would initially pick up 49% stake in SunEdison’s projects and will have the option to buy out 100% stake in the future as mandated by the power purchase agreements.

Adani Green Energy has a long-term target of setting up 15GW of solar power capacity in India. It has committed to setting up 10GW by 2022—the year India wants to achieve a total capacity of 100GW in solar energy.

Parimal said the company’s completed and under-construction pipeline of solar projects will reach 3,500MW by the end of fiscal 2017. It currently operates 700MW of assets and has about 1,300MW under construction.

Last year, Adani Group’s planned venture for building a solar equipment plant with SunEdison fell through. The two companies had signed an agreement at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in 2015 to invest $4 billion in a solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility in Gujarat. Adani Group in April said it has got approval from the Gujarat government to begin work on the plant on its own after earlier unsuccessful attempts to build it with SunEdison.

The group’s entry into solar power began when Adani Power commissioned a 40MW solar plant in Kutch district of Gujarat in 2011. Following a restructuring of the group in 2015, Adani Enterprises currently executes all solar and renewable energy projects through the Adani Green Energy unit.

In the last two years, it has announced at least two big solar power projects—a 10,000MW solar power park in Rajasthan where the firm plans to put up half the capacity itself; and a 648MW solar power plant in Tamil Nadu.

In a reverse auction in November, SunEdison had won a 500MW solar project tender at a then record-low tariff ofRs.4.63 per kWh (kilowatt-hour), setting an example for other companies to bid aggressively. Tariffs later fell to Rs.4.34 in a reverse auction in January.