The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate $848 million (Rs. 5,681 crore) in funding to develop solar parks across India. The agreement was signed by Jonathan Addleton, Mission Director, USAID/India and M. Teresa Kho, Country Director, India Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank.
Through the agreement, USAID will align the technical resources of two of its programs to support ADB’s investments in the development of solar parks and renewable energy transmission infrastructure in states at the forefront of India’s efforts to promote clean energy. The collaboration will initially focus on the state of Rajasthan.The cooperation will design and develop public-private partnership models as well as study options for managing grid reliability. In particular, USAID technical activities will help place investments of $348 million (Rs. 2,331 crore) by ADB for transmission infrastructure for renewable energy deployment in western Rajasthan. USAID will also work with ADB across India with an additional $500 million (Rs. 3,350 crore) of investment in the design and development of solar parks.
The Government of India’s target for renewable energy is 175 Gigawatts of installed capacity by 2022. In support of this, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) launched a solar parks scheme to attract investment from project developers by reducing risks, streamlining the permitting process, bringing down cost through economies of scale, and modernizing infrastructure to allow easier integration of renewable energy into the grid. MNRE plans to establish 25 solar parks with a combined capacity of 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2020. This agreement between USAID and ADB will help finance the development of solar parks in support of the Government of India’s renewable energy targets.