New Delhi: Pashupathy Gopalan, president (Asia Pacific) at SunEdison Inc. who is overseeing the sale of the India assets of the world’s largest renewable energy firm, is expected to join UK-based Lightsource Renewable Energy, two people aware of the development said.
In his second innings in India’s green energy space, Gopalan may now be responsible for developing 1,000 megawatt (MW) capacity as chief executive of the Asia-Pacific operations of Lightsource, one of Europe’s largest solar power utilities.
This comes in the backdrop of Lightsource and UK Climate Investments recently announcing a partnership for developing and acquiring large scale solar power generation assets in India.
UK Climate Investments is a joint venture between the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Macquarie Group’s UK Green Investment Climate International Ltd.
“Pashupathy is expected to join Lightsource," said one of the two people mentioned above, requesting anonymity.
Another person, who also didn’t wish to be named, confirmed the development.
SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy firm, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in April 2016, after facing liquidity constraints and amassing close to $12 billion in debt from a series of big ticket acquisitions. Gopalan declined to comment.
Under Gopalan, SunEdison in a reverse auction won a 500MW solar project tender at a record-low tariff of Rs4.63 per kWh, setting an example for other companies to bid aggressively.
In reply to a direct query about whether Gopalan was joining Lightsource Renewable Energy, Nick Boyle, group chief executive officer said in an emailed response, “We are exploring the market and have had some discussions with various individuals that can add immense value to our venture."
“Our only confirmed appointment so far is Mr. Ramesh Subbarao, who used to be the operations director for SunEdison and is currently leading our strategic move into Asia Pacific. We expect to make further announcements on other appointments in the next few months," Boyle added.
Queries emailed to a SunEdison spokesperson remained unanswered.
Overseas investors such as UK Climate Investments, part of the Green Investment Group within Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, are attracted by India’s emerging green economy.
“While UK Climate Investments will provide 49% of the equity for the construction of the first project, it has earmarked up to £30 million in aggregate for this project and for a broader partnership with Lightsource to develop and construct up to a total of 300MW of PV (photovoltaic) projects. Third-party funding and commercial project finance debt will support the initial and subsequent projects," Lightsource Renewable Energy said in a 30 October statement.
Greenko Energies Pvt. Ltd, backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Holdings Pte. and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, acquired SunEdison’s Indian assets for $392 million last year.