SB Energy, a domestic arm of the Japanese investment powerhouse Softbank Group, has signed up with the Essel group to jointly develop a 500-MW solar park in the country, according to sources. The agreement will enable the Masayoshi Son-run Softbank Group to expand its portfolio further in the country and is part of aggressive growth strategy adopted here, a source close to the Subash Chandra-run company said. "It has won multiple tenders in the recent pa stand with this agreement, it can further accelerate the development of its solar assets," the source said without disclosing the financial and other details like timeline and the place where the proposed park will come up.
Essel Infraprojects, which is part of the Essel group, is into developing large infrastructure projects across multiple sectors and has been focusing on the development of solar assets and enabling infrastructure and has planned multiple similar solar assets across the country.
"With this announcement, the Essel group has further committed itself to the development of the renewable sector, the source added. In May this year, SoftBank Group had partnered with the now crippled infrastructure conglomerate IL&FS to develop over 20 gw solar capacity in the country by 2025. SB Energy has already won bids for setting up 1400 MW of projects in the country, including 300 MW in the Bhadla III Solar Park being developed by Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan, a joint venture of IL&FS Energy and Rajasthan. The Japanese group had earlier this year tied-up with China's GCL System Integration Technology in a 60:40 joint venture for an Indian solar power venture worth USD 930 million, that would work on loping photovoltaic technology used in solar panels.
SoftBank had in 2015 made a commitment to invest up to USD 20 billion along with Foxconn Technology and Bharti Enterprises in solar projects in the country. The government had set a goal of generating 100 gw solar power by 2022. As per reports, SB has made an initial investment of Rs 4,000 crore for these projects. However, as per reports, the partnership with IL&FS fell through as SB Energy is facing hurdles in acquiring land, clearances and transmission facility. SB Energy was scouting for domestic partners for executing upcoming solar power projects with a capacity of 1 gw.
Reportedly, SoftBank intends to invest USD 1 trillion by 2030 in the renewable energy sector in the country.
(With inputs from agencies.)