SunEdison Signs 180-MW Solar Deal in India With Tata Power

SunEdison Inc., the biggest clean-energy developer, will provide 180 megawatts of solar power to Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd., India’s largest utility.

The 20-year power-purchase agreement is the biggest SunEdison has signed under the open-access solar framework, which allows clean-energy providers to sell directly through the national grid to customers, the Maryland Heights, Missouri-based company said Thursday in a statement.

SunEdison, which on Monday bought Provo, Utah-based rooftop panel installer Vivint Solar Inc. for $2.2 billion, has sought to reinforce its position as one of the “supermajors” of the industry. At the same time the Indian government is targeting the installation of 170 gigawatts of clean energy by 2022 to try to lower India’s dependence on coal.

“This project makes a direct and powerful contribution toward India’s goal of generating 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2020,” Pashupathy Gopalan, SunEdison’s president of Asia- Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa, said in the statement.

The solar plants will be built in the state of Madhya Pradesh and will eliminate the same amount of emissions as taking 54,000 cars off the road.

The tariff for 90-megawatts is 5.93 rupees (9 U.S. cents) per kilowatt-hour while the remaining 90 megawatts gets a tariff of 5.97 rupees per kilowatt-hour, Gopalan said at a news conference in New Delhi. For Tata Power the delivered cost in Delhi would be 6.49 rupees for half of the contract and 6.52 rupees per unit for the other half based on current transmission and other charges, he said.

Gopalan said SunEdison is expecting to achieve a return on equity of 15 percent to 16 percent in India. “If I don’t get at least that, I will rather be a lender and earn a return of 12 percent,” he said.

Solar tariffs are on course for grid parity in India in 2-3 years due to improvements in technology, Gopalan also said.

©2015 Bloomberg News

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