AC Energy India solar project gets funding


AC Energy, together with its partner UPC Solar Asia Pacific, has secured funding for its 100-megawatt Sitara Solar Farm project in northwestern India.

Located in Rajasthan, a desert state with the highest irradiation in India, Sitara Solar has an estimated project cost of US$67 million (around Php3.25 billion). Construction of the solar farm began last year, and is expected to start generating power by the first half of 2021.

Sitara Solar secured a 20-year loan from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), to befunded through a 75:25 debt-to-equity financing scheme. The project will supply energy to Indian government-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India, which facilitates the purchase and re-sale of electricity of solar projects to the country’s power distributors.

The development is said to be a major milestone for UPC-AC Energy Solar, the two firms’ joint venture, as it targets to achieve more than one gigawatt (GW) of solar energy portfolio across Asia. This is also a significant step for AC Energy itself, as it aims to build a 5GW renewable energy portfolio by 2025.

UPC-AC Energy Solar won the power supply agreement for the Sitara Solar project in March 2019 via a competitive bid at INR (Indian Rupees) 2.48 per kilowatt-hour, fixed over a 25-year period.

“We are well-positioned to establish a meaningful presence in India and contribute to the country’s renewable energy goals, bringing a total of 450MW of solar projects under construction and in the pipeline with our partner, UPC Renewables. These sustainable developments highlight our commitment to support the country’s aim to source over 60% of energy capacity from renewable sources in ten years,” AC Energy International COO Patrice Clausse said in a statement.

“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 [the] 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,” said Pranab Kumar Sarmah, UPC-AC Energy Solar CEO and UPC Solar Asia Pacific co-founder said.

AC Energy announced in October 2020 that it would begin construction on another solar farm in Gujarat state with operations expected to begin in the first half of this year.