SoftBank denies exiting renewable energy JV with Bharti Enterprises, Foxconn

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Updated: Jan 09, 2020 6:31 PM

Following the Indian Prime Minister's 100GW solar and 60GW wind target by 2022, the venture will invest in and develop renewable energy plants across India, SoftBank had said.

SoftBank had committed $20 billion to promote clean and safe energy in India. (Image: Bloomberg)

SoftBank, which had announced forming a joint venture (JV) for renewable energy with Airtel’s parent Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan-based iPhone manufacturer Foxconn in 2015 — SBG Cleantech, has said it has no plans to exit the tie-up. SB Energy Global — the renewable energy arm of SoftBank — claimed the company explores ways to raise external capital from time to time. “As part of business strategy, we review all options to raise external capital, including strategic investments, from time to time. There is absolutely no plan to exit from the business,” Raman Nanda, CEO, SB Energy Global told Financial Express Online in a statement.

Nanda’s confirmation came following a report by ET on Thursday claiming that SoftBank is considering selling a majority stake in SBG Cleantech. “SBG Cleantech will be a harbinger of solar and wind energy. Following the Indian Prime Minister’s 100GW solar and 60GW wind target by 2022, the venture will invest in and develop renewable energy plants across India,” SoftBank said during the launch of the JV. SBG had won a 350-megawatt solar power project in Andhra Pradesh under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission at a 25-year tariff of Rs 4.63 kWh, it had said in a statement, as a step towards realising its $20 billion commitment to promoting clean and safe energy in India.

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SoftBank had since then further expanded into renewables space. SB Energy had last year in October announced acquiring a portfolio of five US solar power plants with a combined capacity of over 1.7 GW. It has around 7.2 GW of solar and wind projects under long-term contract in the United States and India, and more than 1.5 GW in operation. Also, last month Gujarat government had said SB Energy will invest $4 billion in its renewables energy sector. In October 2018, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son had announced offering free electricity to all member countries of International Solar Alliance including India post expiry of its contract to supply power to such countries after 25 years.

India is targeting 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 from the currently installed 83 GW while “31 GW and 35 GW capacity is underbidding. So this becomes around 140-145 GW. In hydro, we have installed capacity of around 45 GW and under installation capacity is about 13 GW, which makes it (hydro) around 60 GW,” Power minister RK Singh had said in November last year as reported by PTI. “So we will cross 200 GW capacity of renewable energy by 2022,” the minister added.

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