Solar energy is fast becoming a ‘sunrise’ sector in India and it has started attracting considerable interest from financial investors as well as cross-border partnerships.
Europe-based IPP Eoxis Energy has joined forces with Indian solar projects developer, SunBorne Energy, to build a 15MW solar PV project in Gujarat. This investment marks Eoxis’ first investment in the country. It is expected to be operational by December 2011 and falls under the solar programme of Gujarat.
“We are excited that an investor of Eoxis’ strength has shown confidence in our company’s project. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Eoxis Energy,” said Anil Nayar, CFO of SunBorne Energy.
According to some media reports, the overall cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs225 crore, of which SunBorne has raised around Rs140 crore from domestic banks and the remaining Rs70-80 crore is brought in by Eoxis Energy.
“We believe that central and local governments in India are willing to continue to provide support for the development of this sector and that experienced operators like Eoxis are well placed to play an active role in the development of the industry,” said Laurence Mulliez, CEO of Eoxis.
Earlier this month, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government agency which pools together private sector funds, has lent $150 million for a project to expand the use of solar energy to power telecommunication towers in India.
In June this year, IFC invested $4 million in Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Moser Baer Clean Energy Ltd. Sapphire Industrial is constructing a 5 MW solar plant at Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu. IFC has also put money in three other solar power-related firms in India in the past two years, such as NDPL Solar and Azure Power.
Among other initiatives, the diversified Yash Birla Group is likely to sign a joint venture agreement with a US-based company to set up and maintain solar power plants in India.