State Bank of India’s 600 MW plan for rooftop solar moves forward

India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is seeking to implement a financing program aimed at installing around 600 MW of rooftop PV capacity. The program was launched in June.

The financial institution has now issued a request for proposals to seek program external auditors for its Grid Connected Rooftop Solar PV (GC-RSPV) plan. Selected auditors will have to ensure that the World Bank, which agreed to finance the program with $625 million in funds, will receive an independent audit on how the proceeds of loans will be used and a true review of the financial position of the plan, which will have a duration of five and a half years with end date of November 2021.

The funds for the program were provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which contributed with $500 million, the Clean Technology Fund and the Global Environment Fund, which provided $125 million and $23 million respectively.

In June, SBI said that developers that it will be financing under this program include Azure Power, Amplus, and Cleanmax amongst others. Loans are granted to rooftop PV projects ranging in size from 25 kW to 16 MW. “So far, SBI has sanctioned GRPV projects with aggregate capacity of 100 MW, and proposals are in the pipeline with aggregate capacity of around 125 MW. Going forward, off-take of loan would accelerate as awareness builds up in the market for grid-connected solar rooftop,” said SBI deputy manager director Karnam Sekar in June.