SunEdison of US to sell solar capacity to India

SunEdison Inc plans to sell solar power capacity worth about 400 megawatts in India for roughly $350 million, as the US-based solar power company looks to shed assets to boost its balance sheet, according to a Reuters report citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

SunEdison operates around 450 MW worth of solar plants in India, has another 800 MW under development, and recently won a tender for a 500 MW plant in Andhra Pradesh.

Like rival foreign solar firms, SunEdison has been looking to ramp up its presence in Asia's third-largest economy since New Delhi last year announced a huge rise in its clean energy targets.

India is targeting 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022, a roughly 33-fold rise from today's level.

SunEdison's plans to sell a part of its capacity is aimed at giving "funding support" to the parent and show its shareholders that it has been able to create some value in India, one of the sources said.

The assets could see interest from a few of its local rivals, but it is unlikely to see fierce bidding as New Delhi is expected to launch more solar projects in the near future, creating new opportunities for companies, the sources said.

Both the sources, who are directly involved in the process, declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media. SunEdison declined to comment on plans to downsize its India operations.

The Economic Times newspaper on Tuesday reported, citing sources, that SunEdison is looking to draw the interest of several local and global renewable energy companies and green energy-focussed private equity funds.

The India divestment plan comes as the SunEdison, which grew too quickly through acquisitions it couldn't afford, this month posted a bigger-than-expected loss and said it would stop selling projects to its two "yieldcos" - dividend-paying units that hold solar, wind or other power assets for the parent.

Earlier this month SunEdison won a bid to sell solar power in India at a record low tariff, for a 500 MW project in southern Andhra Pradesh.