India: Suzlon and CLP create JV for 100 MW solar project in Telangana

Suzlon Group, the Indian clean energy firm that has made recent large-scale forays into the solar industry, has announced today the creation of a joint venture (JV) with CLP India for the development of a 100 MW solar PV plant in Telangana.

The JV sees CLP India acquire a 49% stake in the JV called SE Solar, and the terms of the agreement will allow CLP to purchase the remaining 51% stake in the future, Suzlon has confirmed.

The Veltoor solar project is expected to be commissioned by May next year, at which point a 25-year PPA with Telangana Southern Power Distribution Company Limited will come into effect. Solar energy generated by the 100 MW plant is being sold at a fixed tariff of INR 5.59/kWh ($0.08/kWh) for those 25 years.

The deal follows weeks of negotiations, during which CLP India had made clear its intentions to enter the Indian solar market, which is booming in 2016. "We have been keen to invest in solar in India to complement our wind portfolio, and have evaluated projects that will be value-enhancing for our shareholders, whilst being attractive for our customers," said CLP India MD Rajiv Mishra. "The Veltoor solar project meets both the criteria. We remain keep and will continue to explore such projects to expand our renewable energy footprint in Telangana and across India."

Under a competitive bidding process in February, Suzlon secured the rights to develop 210 MW of solar PV in Telangana, comprising the 100 MW Veltoor project, a single 50 MW project, and four additional 15 MW solar plants. The developer also recently signed a MoU with the state government of Haryana to set up a 132 MW PV project at its Jhajjar power station.

"Investments in both wind and solar have garnered traction, owing to the improving cost competitiveness enable through technology advancements and the need to transition from fossil fuel-dominated energy architecture," added Suzlon Group MD and chairman, Tulsi Tanti. "The [Indian] target of 175 GW renewable energy by 2022 outlined by the government of India offers an opportunity of over 100 GW solar in the next six years."