January 21, 2015: US-based solar power company, SunEdison is looking to bring in force a multi-aspect approach to increase its presence in the solar market in India. Apart from utility scale solar projects, SunEdison is looking to develop distributed solar power projects in villages that have no access to electricity.
SunEdison has inked an agreement with Indian solar company Omnigrid Micropower for setting up off-grid solar power projects in 5000 Indian villages. These solar projects are expected to have a joint capacity of 250MW. This projects is supposedly the largest private sector investment in rural India for solar segment.
The project by SunEdison and Omnigrid Micropower is deemed perfect for India’s target to provide electricity to every household. A lot of Indian villages, still, have no access to electricity. The government of India is planning to invest billions of dollars in this segment which includes a dedicated transmission corridor for non conventional energy projcects. However, the initiative remains a capital-oriented and cumbersome project.
Therefore, solar power projects on distribution basis seem to be a viable option in terms of finance as well as logistically. Small scale solar projects in Indian villages would also evade the regulatory issues of obtaining land mass. Acquisition of land in India remain a controversial issue.
Few other companies in India have implemented same projects and have made an attempt to engage locals and consumers in the projects. This approach is helpful for the consumers in understanding the importance of the project and also their active participation.
SunEdison is rapidly expanding its portfolio in the Indian renewable energy sector. Recently, the company also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up two 10GW of solar and wind energy project. Apart from this, the company has also secured rights to develop hundreds of megawatts of solar power projects through competitive biddings.