One of India’s leading renewable energy project developers, ReNew Power, has joined a long and growing list of companies looking to sell solar or wind energy projects.
According to media reports, the company is looking to sell 300 megawatts of solar power projects located in the southern part of the country. The company operates a sizeable solar power capacity in the state of Andhra Pradesh, which has seen sharp policy fluctuations over the last few months.
The Andhra Pradesh government had announced its intention to renegotiate operational power purchase agreements citing high tariffs, even in the case of competitive auctions. There have been other similar examples across the country where governments have pushed developers to voluntarily reduce tariffs. In some cases, tenders have been quashed citing high bids.
ReNew has had tremendous growth since it was founded by Sumant Sinha in 2012. The company attracted several international investors, including Goldman Sachs, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. The company undertook multiple acquisitions as well to build one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in the country. It acquired Ostro Energy and KPI Energy.
In 2016 the company also took steps to get itself listed at the Indian bourses, possibly to take advantage of the pro-renewable energy policies of the government. However, it has to abandon these plans as the optimism in the sector, and the economy on the whole, withered away.
The company then reportedly embarked on the yieldco path to monetize its operational assets. According to media reports, the company was looking at potential investors to set up an Investment Infrastructure Trust. It remains unclear if the current sale plans are part of this yieldco strategy.
A number of renewable companies in India are suffering from the economic downturn which has been aggravated by the delay in payments by distribution utilities worth billions of dollars. In the event of further delays in these payments serious concerns over several of these renewable energy projects turning into non-performing assets may emerge.