French energy company Engie has announced plans to invest ‘a minimum’ $1 billion in India as it looks to strengthen its share in the rapidly growing solar power market.

Chief executive officer at Engie Isabelle Kocher recently stated that the company is looking to secure at 400 megawatts solar power capacity every year with a planned investment of $1 billion over the next five years in India. Engie is present in India through a subsidiary – Solairedirect.

Solairedirect is among the leading foreign solar power project developers operating in India, and is also among the first movers, operating since the launch of the National Solar Mission in 2010. The company has been at the forefront of the recent sharp decline in solar tariff bids in India.

In January 2016, the company nearly tied for the lowest solar power tariff in India at that time. The company secured rights to develop 140 megawatts at the Bhadla solar power park in the state of Rajasthan; it placed a winning bid of Rs 4.35/kWh (6.7¢/kWh).

Solairedirect set another record recently in an auction for a solar power park being developed by India’s largest power generator NTPC Limited.

Solairedirect recently won rights to develop a 250-megawatt solar power project in the Kadapa solar power park being developed in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The company placed a winning bid of Rs 3.15/kWh (4.8¢/kWh), 4.5% lower than the previous record of Rs 3.30/kWh (5.1¢/kWh) levelized tariff set in February 2017.

Solairedirect currently owns only solar power projects in India but is looking to diversify into wind energy as well. Malcolm Wrigley, Engie’s India CEO stated that the company could participate in the upcoming wind energy auctions.

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