SunEdison Inc plans to sell about 400 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity in India for about $350 million as it looks to shed assets to boost its balance sheet, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
The United States based company operates Indian solar plants with about 450 MW of capacity, has further capacity of 800 MW under development and recently won a tender for a 500 MW plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The divestment plan is seen as an attempt by SunEdison to monetise some assets to raise capital in the near term, having grown quickly through acquisitions and having this month posted a bigger than expected quarterly loss. The move is unlikely to lead to a complete retreat from India, which is is looking to boost renewable energy output significantly to help to address the country’s chronic power shortages. India is targeting 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022 about 33 times today’s level.
SunEdison Asia Pacific’s President Pashupathy Gopalan declined to comment on any Indian sale but said that the company continued to look at offloading some projects in various countries to raise capital. “To grow you need capital. Our balance sheet does not have the necessary capital,” he told reporters on Tuesday, adding that the company is open to partnering institutional investors to help to finance projects. “We continue to expand in India … It will become a country of even more importance for us.” Gopalan said that SunEdison had also terminated a deal to buy Indiafocussed Continuum Wind Energy.
SunEdison’s plans to sell a part of its capacity is aimed at giving “funding support” to the parent and show its shareholders that it has been able to create some value in India, one of the sources told Reuters.
The assets could attract interest from a few of its local rivals, but bidding could be subdued because New Delhi is expected to launch more solar projects in the near future, creating new opportunities for companies, the sources said. Both sources declined to be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media.