Home / Companies / Japan’s ORIX seeks India solar play with SUN Group

New Delhi: Japanese financial services firm ORIX Corp. is among a raft of overseas firms interested in leveraging India’s growing green economy.

ORIX, which is no stranger to India, will set up a joint venture firm with SUN Renewables for setting up distributed generation solar power projects, Uday Khemka-promoted SUN Group said in a statement on Tuesday.

ORIX, one of the world’s largest diversified financial services groups based in Japan, has been a significant shareholder in IL&FS since 1993.

It also has a joint venture with IL&FS to set up wind energy projects in India and has invested 49% of the equity in the wind platform.

There has been a growing interest from Japanese firms to invest in the clean energy space. Also, Indian firms have been seeking Japanese so-called patient capital, which seeks modest yields over time.

JERA Co. Inc., an equal joint venture between Japan’s largest utility Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co., earlier this year bought a 10% stake in ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd for $200 million. Also, Mitsui Group is looking at investments in India’s renewable energy sector.

According to Aranca, a research and advisory firm, Japan’s cumulative investment in India during 2001-16 was $30.7 billion, accounting for about 10% of India’s overall foreign direct investment (FDI) during this period. Japan is India’s third-largest source of FDI after Mauritius and Singapore.

“The partnership brings together the synergistic strengths of SUN and ORIX to position SUN Renewables as a leading player in DG solar in the country with a clear focus on providing Commercial and Industrial (C&I) clients with clean power and energy efficiency solutions starting with DG solar power," the SUN Group statement added.

This will bring it into competition with firms such as Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which in November won a bid to install 14.5 megawatts (MW) of solar rooftop systems across 10 states, offering to sell electricity from these plants at tariffs starting as low as Rs3 per unit.

Experts believe distributed generation is the way forward for India’s solar sector. Of India’s plan to add 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity by 2022, 40,000MW is set to come from rooftop projects.

ORIX is a major player in the renewable energy business in Japan which includes solar, wind, biomass, power trading and retailing. It is also one of the largest corporates in the Japanese solar power generation market with a 1GW portfolio.

“ORIX is the largest Japanese solar developer with 1GW of solar projects (570MW commissioned) including 150MW of rooftop solar portfolio. It also has a major presence in wind and biomass power generation as well as energy storage and energy efficiency solutions for large private-sector customers," the statement said.

Interestingly, SUN New Energy, a group firm, recently announced a joint venture with Chetan Maini, the creator of India’s first electric car Reva, to establish SUN Mobility.

This comes in the backdrop of India’s plan to have an all-electric vehicles fleet by 2030.

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