ReNew Power, the home grown billion-dollar renewable start-up, is in talks with troubled Sun Edison to buy some of its solar assets in India. The company is facing potential technical defaults on $1.4 billion of loans and credit facilities, and is seeking to sell as much as 1 gigawatt (GW) of unfinished projects in India.
Confirming the development, Sumant Sinha, promoter-CEO and Chairman of ReNew Power, told The Hindu , “A lot of churn is happening within the industry. We have the capital. If we get an attractive price, we are willing to buy. We are in talks with Sun Edison, but let them sell. We are talking to all and so are they (Sun Edison).” The talks, he said, were stuck on the issue of pricing.
Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power commenced operations in 2011 and became the first renewable firm in India to have over 1,000 MW of operational solar and wind projects. Sun Edison, on the other hand, is looking at either selling or seeking a partner for its venture in India, on account of its financial troubles in the US. The company is likely to file for bankruptcy protection in the US in the coming weeks.
The 500 MW project in Andhra Pradesh it won in November 2015, among others, is idle.
The company promised an aggressive power pricing — a record-low tariff of Rs 4.63 per kilowatt-hour — beating 29 other bidders.
Asked about the possibility of closing the deal with Sun Edison, Mr Sinha said, “They are looking for some player who is willing to pay that kind of price, may be a strategic investor. A tariff of Rs 4.63 a unit was not workable for us even then; now they have to give me some money to make it workable… The problem is, the valuation has to be in line. Hope something works out.”
ReNew Power, which has Rs 4,000 crore ($650 million) equity from Goldman Sachs, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Asian Development Bank and Global Environment Fund, is looking for inorganic growth as a lot of solar assets are available in the secondary market.
Out of the 5,000 MW of solar projects awarded in the last two years, almost 2,500 MW of capacities are on the block.
Canadian solar company SkyPower is looking for partners for its India projects while Welspun Renewables Energy is planning to sell its portfolio of 1.1 GW of renewable power assets.