USICEF to Provide Grants for Distributed Solar in India

The US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative is set to provide $900,000 in grants to companies involved in India’s solar sector as part of an effort to catalyze the adoption of distributed solar power.

USICEF has selected the first class of project developers in the Indian distributed solar power sector to receive grant support for project preparation activities. The class consists of five grantees that were chosen in a detailed selection process.

Grant Awardees under Round 1

The selected grantees and their sectors include:

  • Argo Solar, which provides custom designed end-to-end solar rooftop power solutions for commercial and industrial organizations in India.
  • HCT Sun India, a subsidiary of US-based HCT Sun LLC and an early stage rooftop solar developer in India.
  • OMC Power, an integrated rural power utility company that brings affordable and reliable power to mobile tower operators, surrounding small businesses and communities through smart mini-grids.
  • SMG Ventures, which implements rooftop solar projects primarily for commercial and industrial customers in India.
  • SunFunder, an experienced debt provider for beyond-the-grid and grid deficit solar projects and companies, that provides inventory, construction, and structured asset finance loans for solar lighting, home systems, mini-grids, and commercial rooftop solar projects in India.

The awardees will utilize the grant funds for a variety of project preparatory activities, including legal, technical, financial, environment, and social impact assessments.

USICEF aims to accelerate progress toward India’s renewable energy and energy access goals by supporting the early-stage development of distributed solar power projects and helping to catalyze long-term financing. The initiative seeks to drive access to energy in India’s underserved regions by helping promising distributed solar projects develop into viable investment opportunities through essential early-stage project preparation support.

USICEF is a partnership between the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the India Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and a consortium of foundations, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust. USICEF’s support accelerates long-term debt financing for distributed solar power from OPIC and other international financial institutions. Climate Policy Initiative serves as the program manager.

Mercom previously reported that the Government of India and OPIC, a development finance institution of the U.S. government, launched the USICEF Facility Initiative with $20 million (~₹1.36 billion). USICEF will initiate the flow of up to $400 million (~₹27.1 billion) in public and private financing for renewable power generation to benefit up to 1 million households by 2020.

Applications for both project developers and service providers are being accepted on an ongoing, rolling basis, according to USICEF.

Image credit: Argo Solar