Greenko, ReNew eye SkyPower’s India solar power projects

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New Delhi: Canadian solar energy developer SkyPower is in separate talks with Hyderabad-based Greenko Group and Sumant Sinha-led ReNew Power Ventures to sell stake in its Indian projects, said two people aware of the development. These talks come against the backdrop of increased consolidation in India’s clean energy space, even though not many deals have been finalized due to differences over valuations.

Mint reported on 25 October about SkyPower Ltd—one of the world’s largest utility-scale solar project developers—hiring Yes Bank to run the sale process.

“Both Greenko Group and ReNew Power are interested in SkyPower’s India projects,” said a person aware of the development, requesting anonymity. Another person who also didn’t want to be named confirmed the development.

Toronto-based SkyPower has built, assembled and acquired a pipeline of over 25 gigawatts (GW) worldwide, of which 9GW is in the form of bilateral agreements to be built in West Asia, Africa and South-East Asia over the next five years. US-based real estate and infrastructure investment firm CIM Group owns the majority stake in SkyPower.

In an emailed response, a Yes Bank spokesperson said, “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on client/company specific information.” A ReNew Power spokesperson in an emailed response said, “We would not like to comment on market speculation.”

ReNew Power has been scouting to ramp up its portfolio before a proposed initial share sale. It has around 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of operational and under-construction capacity from its own wind and solar projects. It has set a target of over 11GW of wind and solar power capacity over the next five years.

Mint reported on 7 November about global private equity firm Actis LLP exploring the sale of Ostro Energy Pvt. Ltd to ReNew Power Ventures.

Also, Greenko, backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Holdings Pte. and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is planning a $750 million equity investment for buying energy assets.

It currently has over 2.7GW of operating capacity with plans to achieve 3GW capacity by December. The firm plans to reach 5GW capacity by 2019.

Shamini Selvaratnam, director, international and institutional relations at SkyPower, said in an emailed response, “SkyPower is a privately held company in a highly competitive industry and does not disclose or discuss project details beyond what is made publicly available. This has been the operating policy since the company’s founding.”

Queries emailed to a Greenko Group spokesperson remained unanswered.

SkyPower was awarded 350MW of solar projects in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh this year.

The firm also announced in May its agreement with Chinese battery technology firm BYD Co. Ltd to jointly bid for upcoming solar project and energy storage tenders in India.

Some of the active clean energy deals reported by Mint include Greenko Group and Hero Future Energies Pvt. Ltd being in separate talks with Singapore-based AT Capital Group to acquire Orange Renewable’s portfolio; Subhash Chandra’s Essel Infraprojects Ltd mandating Investec to find a buyer for its solar business; and Finland’s state-controlled power utility Fortum OYJ hiring Barclays Bank Plc. for a stake sale in its operational solar power projects in India.

Also, diversified conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji Group is in stake sale talks for its solar portfolio.

In the largest global clean energy deal till date, a group of investors led by Global Infrastructure Partners last month said it will acquire Equis Energy for $5 billion. The sale includes the Indian portfolio of the Singapore-based renewable energy developer comprising green energy platforms Energon and Energon Soleq. SkyPower has signed over 30 utility-scale solar power purchase agreements (PPA) and contracts with utilities and governments across the world.