Hydro and wind power producer Bhoruka Power Corp. Ltd is looking to raise about $120 million in equity investment and use the money to increase renewable energy capacity to 1 gigawatt (GW) by 2020, said managing director S. Chandrasekhar. Bengaluru-based Bhoruka Power, which currently has 310MW of hydro, wind and solar power capacity, has hired an investment bank, and negotiations with potential investors are at an advanced stage, Chandrasekhar said over the phone on Tuesday. He declined to reveal any names, citing confidentiality agreements. The company is in talks with some private equity investors and infrastructure funds for the equity investment, Chandrasekhar said. L&T Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd has held an equity stake worth Rs350 crore in Bhoruka Power since 2013 and will stay invested at least till 2018-19, Chandrasekhar said.
L&T Infrastructure Finance did not respond to an emailed query on whether it plans to exit its investment in Bhoruka Power. The power company currently operates 110MW of hydropower capacity, 170MW of wind capacity and 30MW of solar capacity in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana, and is building a 200MW wind farm in Karnataka. It plans to reach a total operating capacity of over 500MW by 2018, and intends to double it to 1GW by 2020. “All the increase in capacity will come in combination of wind and solar capacities, depending on how the market and tariffs move,” Chandrasekhar said. Last month, wind energy tariffs fell to Rs3.46 per unit in an auction, following solar power tariffs, which touched a record low of Rs2.97 a unit in February.
The low wind energy tariffs would be a positive for the sector, making it competitive with solar and thermal energy, Emkay Global Financial Services wrote in a 27 February report. “This should diminish the investor concerns that the state electricity boards prefer solar over wind energy,” the report said. In 2008, Darby Overseas Investments Ltd, the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, invested in Bhoruka Power. Darby exited the investment in 2013, giving way to L&T Infrastructure Finance. India is targeting a capacity of 100GW of solar energy and 60GW of wind energy by 2022. This has given rise to new entrants and investors and triggered mergers and acquisitions, even as the thermal power sector remains weighed down by stressed assets. A large number of overseas investors, including Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and Fortum Oyj of Finland, besides pension funds and infrastructure-focused funds, have already invested in India’s renewable energy sector. ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd, Ostro Energy Pvt. Ltd, Mytrah Energy (India) Ltd and CLP India Pvt. Ltd are some of the biggest wind energy producers in the country.