World Bank To Provide $200 Million for Two Solar Projects in India

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The World Bank has signed agreements with the Government of India and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for loans and grants worth $200 million to deploy renewable energy technologies and accelerate the country’s progress towards the 500 GW renewable energy target set for 2030.

The agreements include a $150 million International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan, a $28 million Clean Technology Fund (CTF) loan, and a $22 million CTF grant.

These loans cover two projects – the first solar project constructed with battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, and a floating solar project being developed at the Getalsud reservoir in Jharkhand.

The parties involved did not specify the project capacities or technologies that would be deployed.

“India’s transition to renewable sources of energy is one of the most critical transitions for its future.. This project will bring international experience in deploying new technologies to the sector and support India’s progress in adopting cleaner, renewable energy fuels,” said Hideki Mori, Operations Manager & Acting Country Director, India, World Bank.

The projects aim to address constraints in commercial investments in the sector by increasing the confidence of stakeholders. They are also expected to help SECI increase market uptake by addressing the barriers to deploying new technologies at a scale.

The loan would support SECI with human resource and business planning, project monitoring, procurement, financial and contract management, environmental and social safeguards, and financial management.

“This engagement attempts to introduce nascent technologies in the renewable energy sector at a relatively larger scale. The subprojects financed under this project aim to displace fossil-fuel-based generation by positioning renewable energy to meet peak power demand, establish an ecosystem to attract private sector investments, and support institutional strengthening,” said Surbhi Goyal, Senior Energy Specialist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.

The loan from IBRD has a five-year grace period and a maturity of 25 years. The loan from CTF has a ten-year grace period, and a maturity of 40 years whereas the $22 million facility is an interest-free CTF grant.

In June this year, the World Bank approved $165 million to directly finance 450 MW of residential rooftop solar systems, to accelerate rooftop solar adoption and make it more affordable for consumers.

At Mercom India’s Solar Summit 2022, in an exclusive session, panelists discussed how innovative tenders by SECI are helping address the challenges unique to renewable energy to meet the requirements of consumers through third-party sale and DISCOMs.

Mercom will be hosting the Renewables Summit 2023 in April, which will include multiple sessions to discuss the progress and plans across the renewable energy sector in India.