SunEdison stays the course in India, offloads residential business in UK

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SunEdison, which filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, still intends to carry out 1.7 GW of planned renewable energy projects in India, Pashupathy Gopalan, president of SunEdison Asia Pacific president told Reuters.

Gopalan said the company had excluded its Indian operations from its bankruptcy process, the news agency reported Friday. India is SunEdison’s largest market after the Unite States.

SunEdison is looking to secure partners for the projects in the next two months, Gopalan said, adding that nothing had changed “other than that we will look for equity partners in our India projects and India business," he said.

Reuters previously reported that SunEdison was in talks to sell stakes in the planned projects with India’s Adani Group and Finland’s Fortum. The companies have not commented on the reports.

Gopalan did not say why SunEdison excluded India, which accounts for a fifth of the company’s total business, from the bankruptcy.

SunEdison’s lofty plans in India followed aggressive bidding in India, where last year it won a solar project in the state of Andhra Pradesh after offering to sell power at record low prices. The low tariff SunEdison agreed for the plant could pose an obstacle in finding a local buyer, however.

Gopalan said SunEdison had financed some 700 MW of nearly built projects in India, with another 1.7 GW of capacity to be completed in two years. About 80% of the planned projects are solar and the rest wind.

Meanwhile, British green energy group Ecotricity said Thursday that it had bought SunEdison’s residential rooftop business in the United Kingdom, where the company had built a portfolio of nearly 1,000 solar installations.

Company founder Dale Vince said the acquisition was “an exciting and important step for Ecotricity” but added: “The government’s cuts to the feed-in tariff, and its broader attack on the renewables industry, have caused a significant problem for companies like SunEdison: We have seen some go bust and others quit the U.K. market as a result, losing a lot of jobs as a result.”

Vince nevertheless added that “as the price of the technology continues to fall, we’re confident that it’s only a matter of time before we can resume the work SunEdison started and help more homes take advantage of solar power.”

The acquisition marks Ecotricity’s entry into the U.K.’s residential solar market. The company currently supplies nearly 200,000 customers from a fleet of wind and sun parks.