SoftBank, Chinese firm GCL System to launch $930 Mn solar energy venture in India

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A few days ago at the International Solar Alliance Summit, co-hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, Narendra Modi introduced the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme.

The programme aimed to generate 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will be from solar power. India has already achieved 20 GW installed solar power.

Buoyed by the country’s solar plan, SoftBank Group and Chinese firm GCL System Integration Technology are jointly launching a $930 million Indian joint solar energy venture.

The venture will work on the photovoltaic technology used in solar panels and will eventually have a capacity of 4GW and will be implemented in two 2GW phases. In the venture, the Japanese conglomerate will have a majority stake of 60 per cent.

Funding for the project will come from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which counts Apple, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund among its backers.

Earlier in 2015, Softbank announced that it has plans to invest around $20 billion in solar-energy projects in India and develop at least 20 gigawatts (GW) capacity of the solar project.

In April 2017, a joint venture of Softbank, Foxconn Technologies, and Bharti Enterprises announced that it has commissioned the world’s seventh largest solar power project in India.

Besides India, the Japanese company’s Vision Fund also plans investments of as much as $10 billion in state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co. as part of efforts to diversify the utility into renewables and solar energy.

The Japanese telecom company has made over $6 billion of investments in startups in India. This year alone, the conglomerate committed $4 billion, out of which, more than half was invested in Bengaluru-based e-commerce firm Flipkart.

The development was first reported by Businessline.

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