- Reached financial close for its 100 MW Sitara Solar Farm in India
- Stronger presence in India bringing a total of 450 MW of solar projects under construction and in the pipeline with partner UPC Renewables
- Amidst the current crisis, AC Energy remains committed to sustainable investing by driving renewables expansion in the region, helping reignite the economy and create jobs
AC Energy and Infrastructure Corporation (AC Energy), together with its partner UPC Solar Asia Pacific, reached financial close for its 100 MW (140 MWp) Sitara Solar Farm in India.
Located in Rajasthan, a desert state with the highest irradiation in India, Sitara Solar has an estimated project cost of US$ 67 million. The construction of the solar farm started last year, and is expected to start its power generation by the first half of 2021.
Sitara Solar secured a 20-year loan from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), to be funded through a 75:25 debt-to-equity financing scheme. This is a major milestone for its joint venture company, UPC-AC Energy Solar, as it targets to achieve more than 1 GW of solar energy portfolio across Asia. In March 2019, UPC-AC Energy Solar won the power supply agreement for the 100 MW solar project via a competitive bid at INR 2.48 per kWh, fixed over a 25-year period.
Pranab Kumar Sarmah, CEO of UPC-AC Energy Solar and co-founder of UPC Solar Asia Pacific, said, “We are very thrilled with this financial close during the current challenging environment, where we were able to meet DFC’s high standards for environmental and social compliances. This project is poised to enhance renewable power supply in India. We had faced many unexpected headwinds due to Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to the immense hardwork of the highly motivated and capable teams from all parties involved, who worked shoulder-to-shoulder to make this transaction happen.”
This project milestone is the latest in AC Energy’s string of initiatives to sustain its growth momentum and expand its renewables capacity in the Asia Pacific region.
“We are well-positioned to establish a meaningful presence in India and contribute to the country’s renewable energy goals, bringing a total of 450 MW of solar projects under construction and in the pipeline with our partner, UPC Renewables,“ said Patrice Clausse, Chief Operating Officer of AC Energy International. “These sustainable developments highlight our commitment to support the country’s aim to source over 60 percent of energy capacity from renewable sources in 10 years.”
UPC Renewables Chairman Brian Caffyn said, “We are pleased to complete financial close of another large solar energy project in the Asia Pacific region with our partner, AC Energy, in the recent weeks. We aim to contribute significant portion of AC Energy’s 2025 renewable energy capacity targets from our projects under development and construction in this region.”
As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India ranks third globally in terms of its 2020 renewable energy investments and plans, and foresees its electricity consumption jumping to 15,280TWh in 2040. As of November 2020, India’s installed renewables capacity stands at 90.39 GW, with 36.91 GW coming from solar.
Sitara Solar will supply energy to the government-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which facilitates the purchase and resale of electricity of solar projects to the benefit of the distribution companies across various states. SECI received a credit rating of AA+ from ICRA Limited on January 2021.