SECI to enter commercial business; mulling 5,000 MW solar-wind-storage hybrid capacity in 10 yrs
SECI’s MD said the total equity of the company stands at more than Rs 600 crore, which would be used for equity investment in the projects
New Delhi: The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a central public sector undertaking (CPSU) under the ministry of new and renewable energy, is planning to enter into commercial business, and set up 5,000 MW of solar-wind-storage hybrid capacity over 10 years.
“We plan to enter into commercial business and set-up our own generation projects. We have an authorised share capital of Rs 2,000 crore and Rs 354 crore is the paid-up share capital, which can be increased through infusion of equity by the government,” Chairman and Managing Director J N Swain told ETEnergyWorld in an exclusive interview.
He said SECI is a profitable entity and by including reserves balances, total equity of the company stands at more than Rs 600 crore, which would be used for equity investment in the projects.
Speaking on future projects’ trajectory, Swain said: “SECI will set-up 5,000 MW solar and wind hybrid power generation capacity with storage over 10 years. The plan is to initially set-up 500 MW of this capacity at a cost of about Rs 2,800 crore or $400 mn over two years.”
This $400 million cost would be met through 80 per cent debt and 20 per cent equity. Out of the debt portion of 80 per cent, 50 per cent of the project cost would be financed through the World Bank and the balance 30 per cent through domestic sources of debt finance.
“For the debt part of about $320 million, we have already tied-up with the World Bank for funding of $200 million. We would also invest $80 million of our own equity,” he added. The $200 million World Bank funding would branch out to set-up three innovative and off-beat projects consisting of a mix of solar-wind hybrid, battery storage, and floating solar.
First would be a 160 MW solar-wind hybrid project with a battery energy storage system. SECI is increasingly venturing into hybrid projects because they give better power output by partly cancelling the intermittency associated with the individual renewable energy sources. In 2018-19, SECI had issued a tender for development of solar-wind hybrid projects under which letters of award were issued for 840 MW capacity in January 2019.
The second project would come up in Chhattisgarh. It will be a 100-MW solar project with battery energy storage system for which approval is already in process. Finally, it will set-up a 100-MW floating solar project in Getalsud and Dhurwa reservoirs of Jharkhand, which is at the detailed project report (DPR) stage.
In 2015, SECI was converted into a section-3 company under the Companies Act, 2013, and its mandate was broadened to cover the entire renewable energy domain, rather than just solar energy. Before this, SECI was a section-8 company, which completely prohibited it from the commercial aspect of a business entity and its growth. But, with this change, it became a self-sustaining and self-generating organisation.