The Asian Development Bank said it will extend up to US$100 million to India’s ACME Group to help the company set up solar power projects.
ACME Solar Energy Private Ltd, 50% owned by two French renewable energy companies, Electricite de France Energies Nouvelles and EREN, and 50% by the ACME group, plans to develop 350 megawatts of solar projects in India. ADB will support the development and commissioning of solar projects with capacity of 200MW, with half or 100MW already awarded under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission phase 2. Others are still to be identified.
Those approved to date are located in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan state, where solar irradiance levels are among the highest in the country. The projects will rely on solar panels from a range of ADB-approved suppliers and sell the power to the Solar Energy Corporation of India at a fixed tariff of Rs5.45 per Kwh over the next 25 years. ADB financing for those projects has reached financial close.
The additional projects, to be financed by ADB, will be selected on criteria, including long term offtake of generated electricity, financial viability, and compliance with environmental and social safeguards. The 200MW of combined generating capacity will provide 380,000 megawatt-hours of electricity a year, avoiding around 280,000 tons of carbon dioxide which would otherwise have been emitted from fossil fuel power generators.
Aside from ADB, International Finance Corporation and commercial banks will provide estimated loans of $100 million and ACME Solar Energy Private Ltd estimated equity of $65 million, for a total investment cost of $265 million.