Home / Companies / News /  Struggling SunEdison looks to sell projects in India

Mumbai: SunEdison Inc., the world’s largest renewable energy company which is battling a liquidity crisis and facing potential bankruptcy in the US, has put all its India assets on the block, two people familiar with the matter told Mint.

The company is looking to either completely sell these assets or find equity investors for them. In the latter case, the investor would fund these projects, while SunEdison would construct them on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) basis, the two persons cited earlier said, requesting not to be identified.

Separately, Reuters reported on Monday that Adani Group is looking at buying the local assets of SunEdison, citing two people familiar with the matter. Adani has told bankers it is interested in SunEdison’s assets, the report said.

A 500 megawatt (MW) solar power project SunEdison won in Andhra Pradesh in November by quoting record low tariffs in a reverse e-auction is among the projects up for sale, one of the two people Mint spoke to said.

SunEdison has won a total of about 1,000MW of solar and wind projects in India in recent months. In the November auction, the company’s aggressive bid for the tender of 500MW capacity saw India’s solar power tariff touch a record low of 4.63 per kWh (kilowatt-hour).

“We are working with various potential equity partners for our projects because of the overall liquidity crunch," said Pashupathy Gopalan, president Asia Pacific at SunEdison, replying to a Mint query. He did not name the partners.

Nearly 500MW of projects in India are funded and are under construction, Gopalan said.

“We continue to pursue equity partnerships in our projects to the extent allowed by the PPA (power purchase agreement)… Our business model will be to sell assets depending on PPA restrictions," he said.

While the company has arranged for debt funding for its projects, it is struggling with equity investments, said the first of the two people cited above.

SunEdison’s publicly traded unit TerraForm Global Inc. said in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing on 29 March that SunEdison faced “substantial risk" of seeking bankruptcy protection, given its liquidity constraints.

Last week, SunEdison also confirmed that it is being investigated by the SEC over any financial irregularity or exaggeration of its liquidity last year, when it had disclosed $1 billion in cash.

In the last one year, SunEdison’s shares have fallen 98.3% to 43 cents up to Friday’s close on the New York Stock Exchange.

The firm has projects of 1.5 gigawatts capacity in India of which some are operational projects, ready to construct projects and projects under development, Gopalan said.

In November, it sold 425MW of projects in India to its yield company Terraform Global for $231 million. It had a target of setting up 15GW of combined capacity between solar and wind in India by 2022.

Gopalan did not say how a bankruptcy at SunEdison would impact its expansion plans in India. “India remains one of the most important geographies for us and will continue to operate and develop and build our pipeline," he said.

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