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SunEdison to invest $2 billion in solar, looks for Indian partner

business Updated: Dec 23, 2015 01:43 IST
Aman Malik
Aman Malik
Hindustan Times

In a big boost to the government’s Make in India initiative, US-based renewables major SunEdison Inc is looking to invest up to $2 billion (Rs 13,200 crore) in the next one year in a polysilicon manufacturing facility in India.

Polysilicon is used as feedstock material in most solar energy applications.

The company is in the process of identifying an Indian partner for the proposed investment, SunEdison’s CEO and president Ahmad R Chatila told HT. “I am talking to people, but these things take longer than I would like. It took me two years to negotiate the deal with Samsung in Korea,” he said, referring to a similar JV in South Korea finalised last year.

The company is “looking at a few places” for the location of the proposed unit, but declined to give any more details.

This comes even as the solar and wind energy major is facing major financial headwinds. Not only has it been forced to sell some of its assets globally, it has had to walk away from a proposed takeover of wind major Continuum.

According to reports, Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded debt for TerraForm Power Inc and TerraForm Global Inc, the holding company for two SunEdison power plants.

The US-based company has also reportedly lost two-thirds of its market value this year as investors question its ability to fund wind and solar farms it’s planning to build or buy all over the world.

Along with other foreign investors, including Canada’s Skypower and Skypower backed SB Energy, SunEdison has been bidding aggressively in India’s fledgling solar energy sector, driving down tariffs to historic lows. This has even led some analysts to question the future viability of such projects.

“We have done 1,600 projects in the last 10 years, and not one project is stranded. We know how to execute... The headwinds are now being turned around step by step,” Chatila said.