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New Delhi: Attracted by India’ green economy, Norway’s Scatec has become an equal partner in Acme Solar Holdings Ltd for setting up a 900 megawatt (MW) solar project in Rajasthan.

This sale from India’s largest pure-play solar platform comes in the backdrop of India’s low solar power tariffs and the global energy landscape’s focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing.

According to a joint announcement by the firms on Thursday, the project will require an investment of around $400 million, with 75% of the debt to be financed by a state-owned lender. The project to be commissioned by 2022 has a 25-year power purchase agreement with state run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

“Scatec will hold a 50% economic interest in the project, while ACME will retain 50%. ACME will be the turn-key EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) provider for the project," according to the statement.

Mint earlier reported about Acme Solar Holdings Ltd. looking to sell 4.84 GW of solar projects. Acme Solar is the last entirely promoter-owned large green energy platform in India and of its portfolio of 5 GW, 2.3 GW is operational. Acme Solar earlier sold two solar projects totaling 400MW to Actis Long Life Infrastructure Fund and 100 MW to Petroliam Nasional Bhd owned Amplus.

In response to Mint’s query on 6 December about Acme Solar Holdings Ltd. being in talks with Scatec ASA to sell its under-construction projects, a Scatec spokesperson in an emailed response had said, “In general, Scatec does not comment on the development process of individual projects but provide market updates in the quarterly financial reports."

Oslo headquartered Scatec, previously known as Scatec Solar ASA, has been eyeing opportunities in what is expected to become the world’ largest green energy programme that India is running. It has 3.5 GW in operation and under construction and is targeting a 15 GW portfolio by 2025.

“We are excited to partner with ACME, a leading solar power developer, on our first project in India. The country is targeting a significant growth in renewable energy capacity by 2030 and is a key growth market for renewables," said Raymond Carlsen, chief executive officer of Oslo Stock Exchange listed Scatec in the statement.

Acme Solar, founded in 2003 by Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, has been looking at new business opportunities in energy storage, green hydrogen and ammonia. It plans to produce green hydrogen in India and Europe with Lhyfe Labs SAS of France. Acme Solar and Oman’s Tatweer also plan to invest $2.5 billion for green ammonia and green hydrogen production.

“Scatec targets 15 GW capacity by the end of 2025 and expects India to be a key market in the years to come. This transaction is an important milestone to position Scatec for future growth in the Indian market. We see opportunities to offer various large-scale solutions across technologies in India, both based on federal and state tenders, as well as through entering into direct PPAs with corporate off-takers," added Carlsen in the statement.

Foreign investors have been attracted by India’s green economy and have been bidding aggressively in the SECI tenders. Also, deal making in India’s clean energy space continues unabated despite the coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China.

“We are very happy to have Scatec as our partner in India and look forward to building a much larger portfolio of renewable energy projects with this partnership," said Upadhyay, founder and chairman of ACME group in the statement.

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