Azure Power has secured a US$16-million long-term loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States to finance the construction of its 5MW solar system in Rajasthan, India. The funding will be used to buy First Solar’s thin-film modules and SMA Solar’s inverters.
The project is not only one of the first to be developed under India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, but also one of the first to receive financial backing from an international financing institution.
Ex-Im Bank has now put US$75 million of its financial muscle behind four projects in India during the 2011 fiscal calendar and has set aside a further US$500 million for a project pipeline totalling 315MW. The three other projects are the ACME Solar Technology Project in Gujarat, and the Dalmia and Punj Lloyd Solar Projects in Rajasthan.
“India has set ambitious goals to increase solar energy production and is creating incentives to encourage solar companies to develop this market. Ex-Im Bank is pleased to partner with Azure Power to enable a robust solar power sector in India. We are working with US exporters to make sure that they have the competitive financing they need to participate in these important initiatives,” Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred Hochberg said.
“Financing is a critical part of any solar project, and the support from Ex-Im Bank has helped to provide Azure Power with First Solar's advanced, thin-film modules,” added James Brown, First Solar’s senior vice president. “Collaborating with Ex-Im Bank accelerates renewable energy deployment, allowing our customers to meet the growing demand for clean, renewable solar energy in India.”
Repayment of the 16-and-a-half-year loan is based on the cash flows generated by the sale of electricity to NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), for whom the Indian Government has provided special power-price incentives.