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Shadow over SunEdison India's solar projects

Portfolio sale to Macquarie Capital off; Tata, Adani in talks

Shreya Jai  |  New Delhi 

Shadow over SunEdison India's solar projects

US-based renewable energy company SunEdison, battling to pare its $11-billion debt, is not finding buyers for its projects in India.

A deal to sell its 1,480 megawatt (Mw) Indian portfolio to Macquarie Capital has fallen through. This is likely to hit the valuation of the projects, estimated by the market at Rs 7,600 crore.

Adani Power and Tata Power were in discussions with to buy the projects, sources said. Adani Power did not respond to queries from Business Standard.

NATIONAL SOLAR MISSION: THE SUNRISE SECTOR
  • Solar power capacity target: 100,000 Mw by 2022
  • Grid-connected project: 60,000 Mw
  • Rooftop solar & off-grid: 40,000 Mw
  • Current capacity: 5,248 Mw
  • Tender issued during 2015-16: 6,000 Mw (Till January 2016)
  • Target for 2016-17: 15,000 Mw

The spokesperson of Tata Power stated, "The company does not respond to market speculations. We maintain that we are evaluating various options to create shareholder value."

SunEdison's portfolio includes 410 Mw of operational solar power projects, 80 Mw of operational wind projects and 1,000 Mw of recently-won solar power projects, including a 500 Mw project in Andhra Pradesh that the company won at a historic low bid of Rs 4.63 per unit.

Market sources said some global funds were interested but no one would buy SunEdison's entire Indian portfolio. Apart from the commissioned projects, those under development are also on the block.

"Global fund agencies are looking at commissioned projects and Indian will be interested in projects that are under development. Even the deal with Macquarie Capital is not completely off, it might buy some small assets," sources said.

Operating in India for five years, SunEdison's projects are in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka Telangana and Jharkhand. The company has committed to developing 15 gigawatt (Gw) of renewable energy in India.

An e-mail sent to did not elicit any response till the time of going to press.

India sold 425 Mw of solar power projects to TerraForm Global for $231 million in December 2015. Business Standard had reported earlier that SunEdison was laying off 5-10 per cent of its workforce in India.

The share price of the financial vehicle Yieldco, seen as an instrument to fund SunEdison's acquisitions, was under pressure because of the company's rising debt, said an industry expert.

"This is hampering the sale of projects. SunEdison is trying to reduce its debt and at the same time is participating in tenders in India. Cashflow from Yieldco is under a cloud and SunEdison needs to look at project sales," he said.

In an earlier interview to this newspaper, Ahmad Chatani, global CEO and president, SunEdison, said the company had no specific strategy to meet its target of 15 Gw by 2022.

"I do not know five years down the line how much we are going to do. We don't have a forecast for next year. In the 11 months since we committed to 15 Gw, we have done close to 2 Gw," he added.

First Published: Wed, March 23 2016. 00:58 IST
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