Solairedirect Energy India Pvt. Ltd, the local unit of French renewable energy company Solairedirect SA, is in talks with investors to raise around $60 million (Rs400 crore), said two people aware of the development. Solairedirect, which develops solar power assets across emerging markets such as India, the Middle East and South America, was acquired by French electricity utility Engie SA for around $222 million in July last year. In India, Solairedirect owns assets in the states of Punjab, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Solairedirect entered the Indian market in 2010. “They have been in the market for a while and are having discussions with various infra investors. They have a pipeline of over 200 megawatts (MW), which they have won earlier this year as well as some more projects, which are under development after recent previous successful bids,” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.
According to Solairedirect’s website, the company has a total of 182 MW (97 MW in operation and 85 MW under-construction) in its India portfolio. In January 2016, the company won two projects, with a capacity of 70 MW each, under the National Solar Mission programme. In March, the company won an additional 75 MW. “While the parent Engie has been supporting the growth of the Indian business, given their target to build assets of almost 2 gigawatts (GW) by 2019, they also feel the need to raise some external capital here in India,” said the second person cited above, also requesting anonymity. Emails sent to Gaurav Sood, head of the Solairedirect’s India business, Solairedirect SA and Engie did not elicit any response. India has set itself the ambitious target of increasing its clean energy capacity more than fivefold to 175 GW by 2022. Of this, about 100GW is to come from solar power. In the climate change talks held in Paris last December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that by 2030, 40% of the country’s installed power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel.