SunEdison signs 5 GW solar MoU with India's Rajasthan government

SunEdison will play a leading role in Rajasthan’s solar revolution after announcing today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop 5 GW of solar PV capacity in the Indian state.

The U.S. solar giant, which already has more than 50 MW of installed PV capacity in the northwestern state, will construct and establish a clutch of mega-solar projects, many as large as 500 MW, as it homes in on the agreed 5 GW target.

The MoU follows the announcement by the government of Rajasthan of the state’s new Solar Policy, which has earmarked the deployment of 25 GW of solar PV capacity over the next few years.

As part of the MoU, SunEdison will deliver clean energy power to the Solar Energy Corporation of India, NTPC Vidjut Vyaparan Nigam Limited, and Power Trading Corporation. SunEdison affiliates, including any yieldcos, will remain the ultimate owners of the solar plants.

"This MoU paves the way for socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and prosperity in the State of Rajasthan," said Pashupathy Gopalan, president of Asia Pacific Operations for SunEdison.

"The company is honored to be able to contribute its world-leading technology and deployment capabilities to support the emergence of India as a global solar energy leader under the vision and leadership of the honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi."

The MoU was signed by Chief Minister, Smt. Vasundhara Raje Scindia, and SunEdison’s Gopalan. Rajasthan’s government will identify suitable swathes of state-owned land for the projects, based on a long-term land lease option in accordance with the state’s applicable policies. The government will also oversee and finance all grid integration and interconnection infrastructure, and will pressure the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation to fast-track land allotment applications and all other requisite permits.

SunEdison, meanwhile, will assist in the development of long-term strategies designed to smoothly transpose existing electric and diesel-fired power sources for solar-powered ones, building on its own experience in the region, which so far amounts to the installation of more than 1,000 solar water pumps.

Rajasthan recently received approval for a $152 million loan backed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the development of its power transmission network.