SunEdison strikes 5 GW solar and wind deal in Karnataka, India

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Merely 24-hours after unveiling plans to develop a $4 billion solar panel factory in the country, U.S. PV giant SunEdison has announced it is to install 5 GW of solar and wind projects in India over the next five years.

The Missouri-headquartered company confirmed today that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of the state of Karnataka, southern India, for the development of the projects, of which 1.5 GW of renewable capacity will be connected by December 2016.

This deal represents another huge solar commitment in India from SunEdison, and marks the company’s first foray into the country’s wind sector following its purchase in November of First Wind Holdings Inc. for $2.4 billion.

SunEdison confirmed it is to act as component supplier and project developer on all projects, and has finalized power purchase agreements (PPAs) with a suite of local utilities and power distribution companies.

SunEdison’s Asia-Pacific president, Pashupathy Gopalan, praised the state of Karnataka’s energy leadership stance, remarking that its comprehensive energy policy has helped pave the way for socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and prosperity. "Such leadership is determined to make a significant positive impact for the people and businesses of Karnataka, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with them to make this positive change," added Gopalan.

The news adds to what has been a whirlwind week already for India’s solar PV ambitions, and points to tangible maturation of Prime Minister Modi’s plans to turn solar talk into solar action. The government has made clear its intention to reach 100 GW of cumulative solar PV capacity installed by 2022. Currently, there is a little over 3.3 GW of PV installed in India.

For SunEdison, the deal augments previous ventures into India, which include a further 5 GW solar MoU signed with the Rajasthan government in October last year.