GE Energy buys 49% in Continuum’s wind project

Source: Financial Express, 16 June 2022

GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) on Wednesday said it has bought a 49% stake in Continuum Green Energy’s 148.5 MW Morjar onshore wind project in Gujarat for an undisclosed amount. Continuum Green Energy is majority owned by global infrastructure fund managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure.

Morgan Stanley, which owns an over 85% stake in Continuum Green, had been looking for investors to sell its majority stake in the company since 2015. In the past, US-based SunEdison, Norwegian energy major Statkraft and India’s ReNew Power had evinced keen interest to acquire the stake. However, none of the discussions could reach a fruitful conclusion.

Continuum Green Energy has a portfolio capacity of 4 GW, which comprises 855.40 MW operational capacity, 444.40 MW under-construction projects and 2.7 GW under-development projects.

This transaction is the first equity investment by GE EFS in any onshore wind project in Gujarat using a structured preferred equity solution. The wind turbine equipment manufacturer believes that similar financial solutions can be replicated for future renewable energy opportunities across India and global markets for energy transition purpose.

The Morjar project will be equipped with 55 units of GE’s 2.7-132 onshore wind turbines and will begin commercial operations in June 2022. Upon completion, Morjar onshore wind farm will provide power to local communities which will be equivalent to 125,000 households. GE Renewable Energy recently supplied 37 units of these onshore wind turbines to Continuum’s 240 MW wind-solar hybrid project in Gujarat, GE Energy said in a statement.

Gaurav Raniwala, global renewable energy leader, GE Energy Financial Services, said providing a bespoke financing product to a strategic customer strengthens GE’s partnership to continue to deliver accessible, affordable and reliable renewable energy across India to support the country’s decarbonisation and renewable energy targets. “We look forward to furthering the partnership with Continuum on future renewables projects with GE’s innovative financing and technology solutions.”

GE EFS has invested in over 1 GW of renewable energy projects in various states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

Arvind Bansal, CEO, Continuum Green Energy, said, “The Morjar onshore wind investment through GE EFS can be replicated to enable future development of wind and hybrid projects in India.”

Ayana Renewable to invest Rs 12000 crore in wind and solar projects in Karnataka

Source: Economic Times, 08 June 2022

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) backed Ayana Renewable Power Private Limited (Ayana) has signed an expression of interest with the Government of Karnataka to develop wind and solar power projects totaling 2-gigawatt (GW) capacity in Karnataka with an investment of around Rs 12000 Crore.

This capacity addition will be enough to provide clean energy for nearly 2 million households, the company said in a statement.

At present, Ayana has an operational portfolio of 340 megawatt-alternate current (MWAC) in the State.

“Karnataka is a big pull for the renewable energy industry, and we are pleased to have partnered with it to expand the sector further,” said Shivanand Nimbargi, MD & CEO, Ayana.

“The State under its Renewable Energy Policy 2022-27 aims to develop 10GW of additional renewable energy projects. Ayana is keen to help it achieve that target, creating an attractive and sustainable ecosystem for clean and green energy development,” he added.

Ayana Renewable Power is developing utility-scale wind, solar and hybrid energy projects in South Asia. By 2025, the company aims to develop 10 GWAC (Government wide acquisition contracts) portfolio.

Ayana is a majority-owned company of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). British International Investment (formerly CDC Group) and EverSource Capital-managed Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) are other shareholders in the company.

India adds 10 GW solar capacity in 2022: Mercom report

Source: Economic Times, 05 May 2022

Solar capacity installations in the country jumped by a record 210 percent to 10 gigawatts during 2021, Mercom Communications India said in a report on Thursday. The green capacity installations reached a level of 3.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2020, the research firm said in its ‘Indian Solar Sector Market Leaders’ report.

“In CY 2021, India saw a record 10 GW of new solar capacity installed, a big jump of 210 percent compared to 3.2 GW the year before. The newly installed solar capacity in 2021 reached a record high, making up 62 percent of the total power capacity additions in 2021,” it said.

According to the report, utility-scale projects accounted for 83 percent of the total installations and the top ten developers of such projects accounted for 68 percent of the total installed projects in the calendar year 2021.

ReNew Power was the top utility-scale solar developer which commissioned the maximum projects during the year, followed by Adani Green.

In 2021, 1.7 GW of rooftop solar capacity was added. Tata Power Solar led the list of rooftop solar installers, accounting for 20 percent of the total installations in the segment.

“Companies offering solar Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services saw a significant number of projects moving to 2021 from the previous year. Sterling & Wilson topped the list of EPC providers during the year, closely followed by Siemens Gamesa and Tata Power Solar,” the report said.

Sungrow was the top solar inverter supplier in 2021, while Arctech Solar was the top supplier of solar trackers during the year.

Solar imports in 2021 saw a massive increase of 641 percent year-on-year. LONGi Solar was the leading module supplier to India for the second consecutive year.

Open access solar installations grew 222 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year, making it the second-best year on record, it said.

Mercom Communications India, a subsidiary of the US-based Mercom Capital Group, is a clean energy research and communications firm providing expertise in Indian cleantech markets.

Azure Power signs EoI with Karnataka govt to develop 1,700 MW renewable energy projects

Source: Economic Times, 28 April 2022

Azure Power, a sustainable energy solutions provider and power producer, on Thursday said it has signed an expression of interest (EoI) with the government of Karnataka to develop solar, wind, and hybrid renewable energy projects aggregating to 1,700 MW capacity at a total investment of Rs 13,300 crore. The EoI was signed between Azure Power and the government of Karnataka, represented by G. Kumar Naik, Additional Chief Secretary to the State energy department.

Azure Power owns and operates close to 2,900 MW of renewable energy assets across the country and has a significant presence in Karnataka.

“We are extremely pleased to sign the EoI with the government of Karnataka. The State has been at the forefront of clean energy adoption and has one of the highest installed renewable energy capacity in the country. This EoI strengthens our commitment to develop high performing grid-scale renewable energy assets in the State and contribute towards decarbonisation journey of the nation,” Azure Power CFO Pawan Kumar Agrawal said.

India could become carbon neutral before its 2070 goal, IRENA chief says

Source: Economic Times, 26 April 2022

India’s focus on decarbonising its steel sector and developing offshore wind power will help it become carbon neutral ahead of its promised goal of 2070, the director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency said.

IRENA’s Francesco La Camera told the Reuters Global Markets Forum late on Monday that India was “very serious” about meeting the challenges and was very interested in developing offshore wind power.

La Camera said India was also “on track” to reach its 2030 commitment to produce 50% of its energy from non-fossil fuels.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised India’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) target of non-fossil energy capacity to 500 giga watts (GW) by 2030, from just over 151 GW currently.

India’s onshore wind capacity stands at over 40 GW, and for grid-connected or centralised solar power plants capacity is at around 60 GW.

India is already exploring pilot projects in offshore wind power, but was unlikely to enter that space until after 2030 as the technology is still expensive, said Vaibhav Chaturvedi, a fellow at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) think tank.

La Camera said the government expects green hydrogen – made from water and clean electricity – to power sectors, like steel, that find it hard to abate CO2 emissions.

He also emphasized the need to set up “standards and certification” as India begins exporting green hydrogen with conglomerates Reliance Industries, Adani Enterprises, along with state-run energy firms NTPC Ltd. and Indian Oil Corp. setting out manufacturing plans.

India plans to manufacture five million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030 to meet its climate targets and become a global production and export hub for the fuel.

Biliti lines up USD 150 mn to set up electric three-wheeler facility in Telangana

Source: Economic Times, 19 April 2022

US-based Biliti Electric Inc on Tuesday said it is planning to invest USD 150 million (around Rs 1,144 crore) to set up an electric three-wheeler plant with a production capacity of 2.5 lakh units per year in Telangana.

The new plant is estimated to drive private investment of USD 150 million and create over 3,000 jobs in the state, aligning with the state’s policy to become a global hub for electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage manufacturing, the California-based company said in a statement.

Biliti currently operates through an exclusive manufacturing partnership with Hyderabad-based Gayam Motor Works (GMW) for manufacturing its three-wheelers.

The company’s Taskman is a popular last-mile delivery vehicle, which is deployed in 15 countries across the globe, including Japan, the US, UK, France, Portugal, Germany, Lebanon, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Nepal, Bangladesh, Dubai and India.

Besides manufacturing units, Bilti has assembly plants in the US, Portugal and Kenya.

Taskman is being used by various companies like Amazon, Ikea, BigBasket, Zomato, Flipkart and Grofers, among others, it said.

“The Taskman has already made more than 12 million deliveries worldwide with many more to come. Our batteries and drivetrain are compact and modular in design, allowing them to have wider applications in auto, marine, warehousing, and backup power sectors, enabling the buildout of an EV ecosystem,” Biliti Electric CEO Rahul Gayam noted.

The facilities will be built in two phases over an area of 200 acres.

Phase one will be developed on 13.5 acres with the capability to produce 18,000 vehicles per year and is expected to be operational in early 2023. The larger facility spread across 200 acres will be operational in 2024 and have the capability to produce 2.4 lakh units per year.

The plants will produce all of Biliti’s products, including cargo model Taskman and passenger version Urban to serve customers in the global markets, the company said.

Luxembourg based GEM Global Yield LLC has committed USD 400 million to Biliti in the form of a share subscription facility, well-positioning the company to accelerate its growth, execute new strategic initiatives, acquire cutting edge technology players, and expand its manufacturing base to deliver on the company’s vision of accelerating the world’s transition towards smart and sustainable mobility, it added.

Bids invited to set up manufacturing zone for power, renewable energy

Source: Economic Times, 15 April 2022

The government has invited bids for setting up a manufacturing zone for power and renewable energy sectors on a pilot basis.

The Union power ministry had earlier issued orders conveying implementation of a scheme for setting up such a manufacturing zone with a budgetary outlay of ₹400 crore over five years. The scheme aims to promote local manufacturing of latest clean and energy equipment technologies for minimising dependence on imports for power sector.

This is a five-year central sector scheme from 2022-23 to 2026-27.

The last date for submission of expression of interest is June 8, 2022, an official statement said. As per the bid documents, each interested party is required to submit a single proposal.

The bids will be evaluated based on low electricity and water charges, size of the proposed area, and connectivity of the zone. Priority will be given to proposed zones where the land is free from encumbrances, has proximity to ports, competitive electricity and water tariffs, and where the proposal earmarks an area of more than 150 acres.

The proposed funding would be kept flexible for supporting common infrastructure and testing facilities.

The selected proposer, or special purpose vehicle (SPV), will be responsible for preparation of detailed project report, obtaining clearances and land acquisition for the manufacturing zone.

“The state government will be responsible for providing encumbrances free land. The SPV will also be responsible for operation and management of assets created under the scheme,” an official said.

According to the expression of interest, the grant will be released by the central government in four instalments – three of 30% each and the last of 10%.

India to build Sri Lanka wind farms after China pushed aside

Source: Economic Times, 29 March 2022

India has agreed to develop three Sri Lankan wind farms on islets between the countries, officials said Tuesday, in a victory for New Delhi after the project was taken away from a Chinese firm.

New Delhi has long been alarmed about growing Chinese influence in the region. In 2020, 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops died in a brawl on the border.

A $12 million project to build wind turbines on three small islands in the Palk Strait between southern India and Sri Lanka was awarded to a Chinese firm in 2019, with funding lined up from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

But after Indian protests about Chinese activity so close to its coast, work never began and the project on the islets of Nainativu, Analaitivu and Delft was later scrapped.

A joint statement issued Tuesday after a visit to Colombo by India’s foreign minister said a memorandum of understanding had been signed to build the installations.

Sri Lankan officials said India had agreed to provide funding in place of the ADB.

Last week, the Chinese ambassador in Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong, expressed Beijing’s displeasure over the scuttling of the project and warned it would send a negative signal to potential foreign investors.

India is known to be suspicious of China’s growing political and economic influence in the South Asian nation, which is strategically located at the southern tip of the vast Indian sub-continent.

China and India have been competing for major infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, which is currently facing its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.

Colombo has asked for more loans from both nations to shore up its foreign reserves and import essentials including food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

India to invite bids for 2GW offshore wind energy projects soon: RK Singh

Source: Economic Times, 07 April 2022

Power Minister RK Singh on Thursday said India will soon invite bids for 2,000 MW offshore wind energy projects.

“Our journey is incomplete without offshore wind energy. We will bring bids for 1,000 MW in Gujarat and after that 1,000 MW in Tamil Nadu,” Singh said at Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting here.

The minister urged international investors to come forward and invest in offshore wind tenders.

He also informed about India’s plan to invite bids for a nine-gigawatt electrolyzer manufacturing capacity to boost green hydrogen in the country.

The minister urged the international community to create a fund to finance storage and clean energy projects.

India’s present clean energy capacity is at 160 GW, and it could have been 10 to 15 GW more if there had not been the pandemic, the minister stated.

About the coal shortage at power plants, he stated that India is capable of handling the coal stock situation.

NTPC commissions additional 42.5MW capacity at Ramagundam floating solar project

Source: Economic Times, 24 March 2022

State-run power giant NTPC has made commercially operational an additional 42.5 MW of power generation capacity at Ramagundam floating solar project in Telangana from Thursday. Earlier the company had commissioned 17.5 MW (Part-I) and 20 MW (Part-II) of the Ramagundam floating solar project.

With the addition of 42.5MW, the total commercially operational power generation capacity of Ramagundam project has reached 80 MW. The project is of 100 MW capacity.

“Consequent upon successful commissioning, third part capacity of 42.5 MW of 100 MW Ramagundam Floating Solar PV Project at Ramagundam, Telangana, is declared on commercial operation with effect from 00:00 hrs. of March 24, 2022,” NTPC said in a BSE filing.

With this, it stated that the standalone installed and commercial capacity of NTPC has become 54494.68 MW.

The NTPC group’s installed and commercial capacity stands at 68,609.68 MW and 67,949.68 MW, respectively.