On the heels of new reports that India is preparing for a major additional push into solar, with more than 100 gigawatts of new installed capacity planned over the next 10 years, SunEdison made two announcements declaring its interest in the Indian market.
In the first release SunEdison and Adani Enterprises, the largest port owner and operator and largest private power provider in India, announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint venture to build the largest vertically integrated solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility in India with an investment of up to $4 billion USD. The facility will create enough solar panels to fuel substantial solar growth in India, furthering India’s goals for clean, renewable energy independence, and will add up to 20,000 jobs to the local economy.
“We are proud to partner with Adani Enterprises to build the largest solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility in India. This facility will create ultra-low cost solar panels that will enable us to produce electricity so cost effectively it can compete head to head, unsubsidized and without incentives, with fossil fuels,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunEdison. “By pairing SunEdison’s solar technology expertise with Adani’s extensive experience in the creation of infrastructure, we will be able to transform the region into a solar production powerhouse, creating 4,500 direct jobs and over 15,000 indirect jobs in the process.”
The new facility will be constructed in Mundra, Gujarat, India, over a three year period. This facility will vertically integrate all aspects of solar panel production on site, including polysilicon refining, and ingot, cell, and module production.
In the second release, SunEdison and Omnigrid Micropower (OMC Power), the first power company to transform the provision of electricity in rural India into a commercially viable, sustainable and scalable business, announced that they have signed a framework agreement to develop 5,000 rural projects, representing 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity, throughout India over the next three to five years.
Approximately 400 million people in India have no access to electricity, and even for those who do, the only options are often unreliable and expensive fossil fuel-based solutions. Building upon the 36 kW micro power plants OMC Power has already put in place across India as part of a sustainable and reliable rural electrification plan, this partnership will quickly bring electricity to 10 million additional people.
“There are approximately 1.5 billion people that do not have access to electricity and another 1.5 billion people that don’t have reliable, 24/7 electricity. What is most exciting about this partnership is that SunEdison is embarking on its purpose of transforming lives in a very big way,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunEdison. “Solar electricity costs have come down dramatically and continue to come down, thus making it a better choice than conventional fossil sources. We don’t have to make a false choice between cost and clean power any more. While a 1 gigawatt (GW) coal power plant can take 3 to 4 years to be developed and constructed, and a nuclear power plant of similar capacity can take 5 to 10 years, a solar photovoltaic power plant can be developed and built in less than a year and can compete on costs.”
Check out this video related to SunEdison rural solar electrification efforts.
Pashupathy Gopalan, President of SunEdison’s Asia Pacific Operations added: “SunEdison is currently building 60 mini grids across India – this initiative will further accelerate our efforts towards the Honourable Prime Minister’s Energy Vision of making electricity available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We will not rest till we have changed the lives of the hundreds of millions of people around the world who are underserved and underprivileged.”
SunEdison and OMC Power have a proven and ready-to-scale solution that will provide reliable electricity for many poor communities. The partnership leverages the expertise of each company, including technical know-how, local and telecom knowledge from OMC and project development and financing expertise from SunEdison. SunEdison and OMC have an offering that can help telecommunication organizations meet their regulatory requirements and provide energy to local communities while still going off-grid.
The co-founders of OMC Power, Anil Raj and Rohit Chandra, said: “Our Renewable Energy Services Company model is a proven and commercially viable approach which provides an immediate and substantial improvement in the quality of life in energy-deprived areas, while stimulating economic growth and prosperity. Our agreement with SunEdison is a huge step forward both for our company and for the people of rural India.”
To find out more about how SunEdison views the future of energy, watch this video: