Canada’s SkyPower Global in Talks to Sell Stake in MP Project
New Delhi: Canada-based solar power developer SkyPower Global, which won contracts to set up plants of 150 MW in Madhya Pradesh last July, is looking to offload equity in the project and may subsequently exit, industry executives and analysts said. The company has approached at least two leading Indian renewable energy developers, seeking investment in the project.
SkyPower Global’s Mauritian arm, SkyPower South East Asia Holding Ltd, won contracts to set up three solar plants in MP of 50 MW each at tariffs of .₹ 5.05, .₹ 5.11 and .₹ 5.30 per kwH in July 2015. In a year of tumbling solar prices, the tariffs still made a splash as they were record lows at the time. “I was always apprehensive about this bid in MP,” said a senior official, associated with the ministry of new and renewable energy. “The attitude and actions of SkyPower also never seemed to suggest it was serious. Usually, companies visit the site before bidding and do plenty of preparatory work, which seemed to be missing in this case.”
SkyPower is the second solar developer trying to shed equity in a project it won amid much fanfare. Even before its current bankruptcy threat, since lateFebruary this year, SunEdison has been looking for equity investors in its 500 MW solar project in Andhra Pradesh, which it won quoting a tariff of .₹ 4.63 per kwH last November, which was again a historic low at the time. Rules permit solar developers to sell up to 49% of their stake in a project, but they can exit only one year after the commissioning of the project.
Manu Shrivastava, principal secretary — New and Renewable Energy, in the MP government, said he was unaware of any problem with Skypower. “They have signed the PPAs (power purchase agreements) and given the requisite bank guarantees,” he said. An email query to SkyPower did not elicit any reply. The MP government had floated tenders for a total of 312 MW of solar power projects. Against SkyPower’s .₹ 5.05-5.30 per kwH, the next lowest bid was .₹ 5.38 per kwH made by Atha Group, which won 30 MW. ReNew Power quoting a tariff of .₹ 5.63 per kwH was awarded 51 MW, while Hero Future Energies pitched at .₹ 5.64 per kwH and won 50 MW.
Unlike most others, SkyPower did not even seek viability gap funding (VGF).
However, it is now looking for buyers. “The company has arranged intermediaries for the sale,” said an industry source. “It is seeking a premium since tariffs are now lower than what it had quoted.” The MP projects were SkyPower’s first in India. It has since won another 200 MW solar project in Telangana.
SkyPower Global is the second solar developer trying to shed equity in a project it won amid much fanfare