One of India’s leading private sector power companies is planning to infuse large sums of equity into its renewable energy subsidiary to enable the latter to execute large-scale solar power projects.
According to media reports, Tata Power will invest $90 million in Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited. These funds will be used for setting up large-scale solar power projects with a total capacity of 320 megawatts. These projects, secured through competitive auctions, are spread across six states.
Tata Power Renewable Energy came into being in late 2015 after the parent company decided to shift all renewable energy assets to a separate entity, with reported plans of an initial public offering in the future. In mid-2016, Tata Power Renewable Energy acquired 1,140 megawatts of solar and wind energy assets from Welspun Energy, a leading renewable energy IPP at that time.
Now, Tata Power Renewable Energy controls around 2 gigawatts of solar and wind energy assets.
Tata Power Renewable Energy owns and operates India’s largest solar power project based on domestically manufactured solar modules. The 100-megawatt project is part of the Anantapur solar power park in Andhra Pradesh; the park will have an installed capacity of 1 gigawatts once it is fully operational.
The company has been aggressively raising funds to keep up the growth in the highly competitive Indian market. In H1 2016, the company raised almost $150 million by issuing non-convertible debentures to retire debt.
All these investment plans and fundraising activity is part of the much larger plan by parent Tata Power to increase the share of renewable energy in its portfolio as solar and wind energy are now increasing challenging the cost advantage coal once enjoyed.
In April 2016 Tata Power announced,
(P)lans to increase its share of renewable energy output from 20% to 35-40% by 2025. The company currently has an installed capacity of 9,156 MW, including 593 MW from wind energy and 60 MW from solar power projects.
Tata Power hopes to increase its installed capacity to 20 GW by 2025. A 40% renewable energy share would mean 8 GW capacity. The company has recently increased its participation in solar power auctions.