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ReNew Power claims India’s ‘biggest ever’ finance deal made for battery-backed renewable energy project

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US$1 billion financing has been secured for a ‘Round-The-Clock’ (RTC) renewable energy project in India, marking the biggest single-project clean energy deal in the country, developer ReNew Power has claimed.

Renewables-focused independent power producer (IPP) ReNew Power said yesterday that it has reached agreement on a project finance loan with 12 different international lenders for the 1,300MW mixed technology project.

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Anticipated to include 900MW of wind and 400MW of solar PV deployed across regions in three Indian states: Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharastra, the inclusion of battery energy storage system (BESS) technology is designed to make the energy dispatchable 24/7 throughout the year.

This means it can be competitive technologically to thermal energy sources like coal to provide baseload energy, the IPP claimed.  

ReNew Power said interest in the financing deal was oversubscribed. The brokering of the External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) project finance loan was led by Dutch finance group Rabobank and included seven first-time project lenders to the IPP as well as five existing lenders.

A 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) has been signed for the project with the national Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), as reported by our sister site PV Tech in April last year.

Electricity from the RTC project will be sold to SECI at a tariff of ₹2.90/kWh (US$0.036/kWh) for the first year. From there, the rate increases by 3% each year to the end of the first 15 years of the PPA term, before levelling out for the final 10 years.

Japanese global trading and investment firm Mitsui & Co. acquired a 49% stake in the project in April.

ReNew CEO, chairman and founder Sumant Sinha described the loan as “the single-largest project finance in India’s renewable sector,” and one that “shows its continued ability to access financing at much lower rates than several years ago, despite the current volatility in the currency markets and a rising interest rate environment”.  

In related news, ReNew Power and global energy storage system integrator and tech provider Fluence are in the process of launcing a joint venture (JV). The first project the pair is working on will see Fluence provide a 150MWh BESS to a 300MW hybrid wind-solar-battery project in Karnataka through which ReNew Power is providing renewable energy to the grid at peak times.

Fluence has also opened a global technology centre in the country and highlighted the strong potential it sees in India’s energy storage market ahead. That potential has also drawn rival Powin Energy to form a JV of its own with IPP O2 Power to take on the market. Another US company, GE Renewable Energy, has opened and then expanded a hybrid PV inverter and energy storage equipment factory in the country.

As viewers of Energy-Storage.news’ recent webinar with Clean Horizon on key national tenders and other opportunities in India’s energy storage market heard, central and state government and private entities alike are convinced of the need for large amounts of energy storage to integrate a targeted 500GW of non-fossil fuel energy by 2030. India also needs to enhance stability of its grid and increase energy access for millions of people in rural and remote areas, all of which renewables and energy storage will play a leading role in enabling.

The IPP is NASDAQ-listed since August 2021, when it merged with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), RMG Acquisition Corporation (RMG II). ReNew Power received US$610 million from that transaction, with the company claiming that made it India’s largest publicly traded renewable energy company by total electricity generation.

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