Actis scoops up Acme’s 600MW solar pipeline in India

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Image credit: HHV Solar Technologies.

Emerging market investor Actis looks set to bolster its foothold in the Indian solar sector, following claims that it has acquired a large portfolio.

Indian media recently reported that Actis has bought a 600MW solar portfolio from Acme Cleantech Solutions, one of top developers in the country.

The India Times quoted a deal value of around 3,000 Indian crore (around US$410 million) and claimed Actis had outbid Canadian asset manager Brookfield, reportedly also after the portfolio.

Contacted by PV Tech, a source close to the transaction declined to shed light on deal valuation or individual project capacity but confirmed Actis’s acquisition has taken place.

For Actis – a London-based private equity firm with US$12 billion in assets under management – the takeover brings a sizeable PV capacity boost in India, a market it has already been targetting via a separate arm.

Known as Sprng Energy, the Pune-headquartered arm is said to manage a 1.7GW renewable electricity portfolio across India, 750MW of which are solar projects.

New foray for Indian solar tender enthusiast

The purchase of Acme’s assets follows a number of moves by Sprng over the past year, including the unit’s acquisition of a 194MW portfolio from conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji.

In 2018 alone, Actis’s Indian arm placed bids of 300MW at a NTPC auction and scored tariffs of US$0.0391/kWh as it reaped 250MW of support at an Andhra Pradesh tender.

As for Acme, the seller of the 600MW portfolio has grown since foundation to amass a 5.5GWp-plus solar portfolio India-wide, 2.9GW-plus of it already operational.

States key to Acme at present include Rajasthan – where it boasts a PV capacity of 3.3GWp – Telangana (637MWp), Karnataka (487MWp) and Andhra Pradesh (396MWp).

Analysts believe India’s solar market will reach an installed capacity of 82GW by 2024, up from 39GW in 2019, despite policy friction between central and state governments.

The country – told by experts it might miss its clean energy targets for 2022 – may grant deadline extensions to PV projects affected by coronavirus-driven delays with components.

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