Government says SunEdison bankruptcy risk will not disrupt the Indian sun

Tarun Kapoor, co-secretary of the Ministry of New Energy and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said in an interview with PV-Tech that the financial distress of US developer SunEdison will only be very small effect for India's overall solar deployment target. The impact of any incomplete PV project will be re-tendered immediately.


The troubled SunEdison recently made headlines after its yieldco subsidiary Terraform Global said SunEdison is about to seek bankruptcy protection. Terraform Global also sued SunEdison (click to view PV-Tech's previous report) for allegedly misappropriating $231 million in funds earmarked for completing the Indian solar project.


A person familiar with the matter said in an interview with PV-Tech that it is expected that most of SunEdison's solar energy project reserves in India will continue to advance due to financing, however, if SunEdison's financial difficulties continue, in November last year. The winning Andhra Pradesh 500MW project and the Jharkhand 150MW project will be affected.


Kapoor said that if another company takes over SunEdison or the company can raise funds, then it can complete these projects, however, its well-known financial problems indicate that it will be difficult to obtain bank loans to finance these projects.


At the same time, the prospects for the 500MW Andhra Pradesh project may be hindered by its low bid of 4.63 rupees ($0.07) per kWh.


However, earlier this week, it was reported that the Indian business group Adani Group is considering acquiring SunEdison's Indian assets (click to see PV-Tech's previous report).


When asked if the MNRE can be flexible in the solar auction rules that require the original bidder to complete the project himself, Kapoor explained that the MNRE has some provisions for bank guarantees and for reviewing the network of companies seeking bidding.


He added: "The company had a good network, but it has now expired. Such things can't be foreseen but it does happen. If they can't build the project, we will re-tender, but they will lose their bank guarantee."


Our goal is to have a project in place. This is the challenge we are currently facing.


Kapoor also said that if SunEdison fails to complete its Indian project, it will only be a "slight setback" in India's overall solar project reserve. He explained that considering any project with doubts, MNRE tends to prefer the installed capacity of the tender higher than its goal. At the same time, MNRE itself will not lose any funds, only developers will see financial losses.


Kapoor added: "As far as our goals are concerned, we will ensure that SunEdison's financial distress will not cause us too much trouble."


According to the consulting company Bridge to India's "2015 India Solar Map" as of September last year, SunEdison's over 700MW Indian solar project has been put into production or in reserve. The Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand projects have been joined since then.

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