UNOPS S3i, IFU Bring in Equity Investment for ACME’s 250 MW Solar Project

The project's total value is just under $200 million; a quarter would be financed through equity contributions by the three co-investors


ACME Solar has signed a shareholders’ agreement with UNOPS S3i and IFU for developing a 250 MW solar project located in Rajasthan, India.

In March 2019, ACME had won the bid to develop 250 MW of solar projects after quoting the then lowest tariff of ₹2.48 (~$0.0349)/kWh along with three other solar developers. The tender was floated by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in 2018 for the projects to be developed on a standalone basis across Rajasthan. The tender was oversubscribed by 1,620 MW. Bids totaling 2,370 MW were submitted in response to the tendered capacity of 750 MW.

ACME Solar currently has a portfolio of 5 GW, of which 2.3 GW is operational, and 2.7 GW is under construction. Once in operation, the project is expected to provide clean electricity to 500,000 households, creating around 225 jobs in the construction phase and 75 jobs when the unit is functional.

The project’s total value is just under $200 million, and a quarter of it would be financed through equity contributions by the three co-investors.

Commenting on the deal, founder and chairman of ACME Group, Manoj Upadhyay, said, “This partnership is a key milestone towards ACME’s vision for developing a portfolio of 25 GW of renewable projects, which comes in line with India’s plans to achieve 450 GW of renewable power by 2030.”

UNOPS Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3i) aims to become a co-investor and channel private financing in regions and sectors such as renewable energy that have struggled to attract capital.

IFU – an investment fund for developing countries – is a Danish impact investor contributing to green and inclusive societies and supporting sustainable development goals by providing risk capital to companies operating in developing countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and parts of Europe.

In September 2020, Amplus, the Indian arm of Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Bhd), a Malaysian government-owned oil and gas company, had acquired 100 MW of solar assets from ACME Solar. The deal was valued at ₹8 billion (~$109 million). Earlier, UK-based investor Actis acquired two solar projects with a total capacity of 400 MW from ACME. The deal was valued at nearly ₹25 billion (~$334 million). The acquired capacity consisted of three projects of 50 MW each in Andhra Pradesh and one 250 MW project in Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa Solar Park.

Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.