The World Bank is lending $165 million to support residential rooftop solar in India; Biocon is picking up 26% stake in AMPYR’s 30 MW solar plant; ReNew, UNEP & SEWA to train women workers as solar technicians; Skyfri bags Kerala floating solar project from BHEL.
$165 million for rooftop solar: The World Bank has approved $165 million as additional financing to support 450 MW of residential rooftop solar PV installations in India. According to the bank, it will help users generate, consume and feed excess electricity into the grid. This financing is in addition to the Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Program the bank is already supporting with $648 million since 2017 for commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop PV systems. It said the additional financing will help scale up and expand the program to cover the residential sector and support the national target of 40 GW of rooftop solar installations. “The Program will help make rooftop solar affordable to residential consumers and catalyze a market with significant potential,” said the Task Team Leaders of the project, Amit Jain and Mani Khurana.
Comprising a $150 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and $15 million from the IBRD Fund for Innovative Global Public Goods Solutions, the concessional financing will be provided to developers and residential consumers while mobilizing private capital, the bank added.
Biocon invests in AMPYR: Indian biopharmaceutical company Biocon is acquiring an equity stake of up to 26% in AMPYR Renewable Energy Resources Eleven Private Limited (AREREPL) to source solar power under a power purchase agreement (PPA). The company will maintain this stake in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) throughout the PPA period under captive use arrangement for power from a 30 MW AC solar project in Benkanhal village of Kanakagiri taluk in Karnataka’s Koppal district.
Solar training for salt pan women workforce: NASDAQ listed ReNew Power has announced an initiative called Project Surya to train low-income women salt pan workers in Gujarat to work in the solar industry. Launched in association with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), it will train the women to work as solar panel and solar pump technicians. Initially, the women workers in the Rann of Kutch will be trained at Dhokavada village in Patan district of the state. ReNew said currently these women earn an average of $128 in around 10 months, but as solar panel technician they can earn up to $132 per month. The program is scalable.
Skyfri bags Kerala floating solar project: Norway based cleantech company Skyfri has secured a contract to provide comprehensive solar asset operations to one of the largest floating solar power plants in India. As EPC service provider, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) awarded the 31 MW DC/22 MW AC project to Skyfri that called it the largest floating solar installation in the state of Kerala. It is owned by NTPC. Skyfri will be required to provide 24/7 real-time system monitoring for the project that’s equipped to identify faults using machine learning, ensuring optimized production time and increased efficiency of operations and maintenance (O&M), it explained. It is the Norwegian company’s 1st floating solar contract, and also the 1st where it plans to use drone-based inspection and management.