Japan’s SoftBank clinches first solar power project in India

Japan's SoftBank clinches first solar power project in IndiaSoftBank Corp. Chief Executive Masayoshi SonReuters

Japan’s SoftBank, which had announced that it would invest $20 billion in the Indian solar energy sector, has clinched its first deal in Andhra Pradesh through its newly formed company, SBG Cleantech.

SBG Cleantech has landed the 350 Mw solar power project in Andhra Pradesh by bidding the lowest tariff of Rs 4.63 per unit for the tender. For the same tariff, US SunEdison had won 500 Mw solar power park in Andhra Pradesh last month.

Indiabulls’ Yarrow Infrastructure, Azure Power India, Reliance CleanGen, Goldman Sachs backed ReNew Power and two others were the other bidders for the project.

In June, SoftBank partnered with Foxconn and Bharti Enterprises and announced an investment of a massive $20 billion in solar projects in India, which is considered as one of the biggest investment outlays so far in the country’s renewable energy sector.

“SoftBank is surely establishing itself as a serious and competitive player in the market. The company is likely to be a strong contender in the upcoming national bids as well,” Business Standard quoted Jasmeet Khurana, Associate Director – Consulting at Bridge to India, as saying.

Softbank holds a majority stake in New Delhi-headquartered SBG Cleantech, while Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn are the minority stakeholders. Manoj Kohli and Raman Nanda, who were veterans at Bharti, are the executive chairman and the chief executive officer of SBG Cleantech respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to generate renewable energy of 100,000 MW by 2022 from a current 3,000 MW, to make India one of the world’s largest renewable energy markets.

“Of the 100-Gw target set by the PM, the SoftBank venture will look at solar power generation of 20 Gw. The investment will be made through the next 10 years. Acceleration will depend on the support of the central government, the local governments and NTPC,” Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son had said in June while launching the joint venture.

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