Top Headlines from India’s Renewable Sector in April

The month saw the industry grappling with the coronavirus crisis and planning to reopen


The month of April witnessed several important events that might have a significant impact on the renewable energy sector going forward. Here are some of the important developments in April.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued an advisory saying that the power energy departments and distribution companies in three states should consider permitting rollover of banked electricity as the power demand has plummeted in recent weeks. The Ministry had received representations requesting to issue an advisory to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, to allow the rollover of banked electricity from solar PV rooftop projects and open access renewable energy generating stations under captive and third-party sale.

The Reserve Bank of India announced the second round of monetary measures to help boost the economy, which has come to a standstill during the lockdown. The RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said that the fixed reverse repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) had been reduced by 25 basis points (bps) from 4% to 3.75% with immediate effect. However, the policy repo rate remains unchanged at 4.40%, and the marginal standing facility rate and the bank rate remain unchanged at 4.65%.

The month saw MYSUN, a Delhi-based technology platform for rooftop solar energy solutions, raise ₹320 million (~$4.2 million) from its existing investors in a structured equity deal. It was a part of its pre-series A round. As the company plans to venture into new markets and business models to step up its technology, it is also looking to raise another ₹2.5 billion (~$35 million) over the next few quarters.

Adani Power Limited (APL), India’s largest private power generator, reported that its consolidated loss after tax widened to ₹22.75 billion (₹301.1 million) in the financial year 2019-20, up significantly (around 131%) from ₹9.84 billion (~$130.2 million) the previous year. The company stated that the losses included an exceptional item of ₹10.03 billion (~$132.8 million) after it wrote off certain receivables and advances following the acceptance of a resolution plan submitted by the company.

Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital (SP Infra), a part of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group and KKR, a global investment firm, signed an agreement under which the SP Infra will sell five of its operational solar energy assets to KKR for ₹15.54 billion (~$204 million). The portfolio comprises 169 MW of solar assets in Maharashtra and 148 MW in Tamil Nadu, totaling 317 MW capacity.

In response to MNRE’s notice to states and ports asking them to earmark land with potential for setting up renewable hubs, the Tuticorin Port Trust and the states of Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have so far expressed interest in setting up renewable energy manufacturing parks.

In a recent shuffle of top bureaucrats of India, the central government appointed Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi as the new secretary of MNRE. According to the order issued by the Appointment Committee of Cabinet, Chaturvedi will replace Anand Kumar, who will now be the secretary of the Ministry of Culture.

In April, Mercom reported that wind power installations in India rose to 2.07 GW in the financial year 2019-20, a 31% increase as compared to 1.58 GW in the FY 2018-19. The cumulative installations stood at 37.69 GW as compared to 35.63 GW for the FY 2018-19. Wind power represents 10.1% of the total installed power capacity in India as of Q1 2020.

Mercom also reported that the share of renewable energy (including large hydro) in India’s overall power generation mix rose marginally to 36.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2020, from 35.9% at the end of the calendar year 2019, according to the data from the Central Energy Authority (CEA), and the MNRE.

AleaSoft, an energy forecasting solutions company, announced that it has collaborated with the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited as a provider of solar and wind energy forecasting. The Barcelona-based forecasting company said that April marked the first quarter of its collaboration with India’s central transmission utility.

Tata Power announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Khopoli completed the sale of the company’s entire stake in Cennergi Private Limited to Exxaro Resources Limited for ZAR 1,550 million (~$84.25 million) and normal working capital and other adjustments. Cennergi Private Limited was a 50:50 joint venture between Exxaro, a coal producer in South Africa, and Khopoli, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Power.

REC Limited announced that its board of directors had approved a proposal to incorporate seven project-specific special purpose vehicles as wholly-owned subsidiaries of REC Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL) to develop transmission projects.

Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited (SWSL) announced that it received ₹5 billion (~$66.8 million) towards the outstanding loans from its parent company, Sterling and Wilson Private Limited (SWPL), and its subsidiary Sterling and Wilson International FZE (SW FZE). The funding was facilitated by Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Limited and Khurshed Daruvala, as per the revised schedule of repayment approved by the board of directors of Sterling and Wilson Solar.

Sungrow announced that the company signed a 650 MW strategic agreement with Avaada Energy to supply 1,500 V inverter solutions for its upcoming solar PV projects in 2020. Sungrow has over 10 GW of 1500V inverter solutions installed across the globe.

Mercom has been covering the impact of Coronavirus on the renewable industry to keep its readers abreast of all the important developments in the renewable sector and has been reporting regularly on the economic impact of the virus on the renewable sector.