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Canadian Solar looking to divest India power project

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-10-2017 Swaraj Singh Dhanjal

Mumbai: Canadian Solar Inc., a maker of solar panels, is exploring the sale of its Indian solar power assets, worth around 108 megawatts (MW), two people aware of the development said.

“Canadian Solar is a panel maker and the building and owning of assets is not a core business for them. Panel makers generally create such capacities as a showcase for their panels and they generally keep building and selling such assets,” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.

The 108MW project is in late stages of development and they are looking at divesting it to other renewable energy producers and are having a conversation around the same currently, he added. “A possible sale of the assets could fetch them anywhere between $100-150 million,” he said.

In August, Canadian Solar sold a 281MW under construction solar power project in US to Sempra Renewables, Llc.

Canadian Solar is a manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and provider of solar energy solutions. Since its incorporation in 2001, Canadian Solar has delivered over 19 gigawatt (GW) of solar photovoltaic modules to over 100 countries around the world.

As on 31 July, Canadian Solar has three power projects totaling 144MW in India, according to the company’s earnings presentation. Apart from the 108MW project, it also has two 18MW projects in Telangana.

“We understand that your comments/questions are based on market speculation/rumours and we do not offer any comments on the same. Our response should not be construed to be any form of validation or confirmation of your queries,” a senior executive of Canadian Solar said in an email response to queries.

Globally, the company’s solar project portfolio, including under construction projects, stood at 1.39GW as of 31 July. This includes projects worth 362MW in Japan, 120MW in the US, 210MW in China, 399MW in Brazil and 118MW in Australia.

Canadian Solar won’t be the first panel maker to sell its Indian power project.

Earlier this year, American firm First Solar, Inc. sold its 190MW India solar power projects to IDFC Alternatives renewable energy platform Vector Green Energy. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mint reported in March that First Solar was looking to sell its Indian solar assets.

Merger and acquisition (M&A) has been a strategy of choice for Indian renewable energy companies in the last couple of years, with several assets changing hands.

In March, renewable energy firm Inox Renewables Ltd said it had agreed to sell its operating wind power farms of 260MW capacity to Chennai-based wind power company Leap Green Energy Pvt. Ltd.

In January, renewable energy firm Orient Green Power Co. Ltd said that it was evaluating a merger of its wind power business with IL&FS Wind Energy. The merger of the wind assets of the two firms will create a firm with 1.2GW assets.

In 2016, the sector had witnessed major M&A transactions such as Tata Power’s renewable arm acquisition of Welspun’s 1.1GW of renewable assets worth $1.4 billion and Greenko acquisition of SunEdison’s India portfolio.

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