India: Madhya Pradesh DISCOMs pursue rejection of Goldman Sachs-backed solar project

Madhya Pradesh, India’s second largest state, has appealed to the country’s top court to cancel a Goldman Sachs-backed solar project, highlighting the challenges faced by solar companies looking to expand in India, Reuters has reported.

Goldman Sachs is a major shareholder of ReNew Power Ventures, lending its support to raise funds for power projects. The corporation’s 51 MW solar project is currently under legal trouble due to land acquisition delays. However, the state’s attempts to scrap the agreement with the firm were thrown out by a state court.

According to Reuters, the state’s discoms have now appealed to the supreme court, potentially setting up a prolonged legal battle.

The move comes after Madhya Pradesh canceled three solar power purchase deals with Canada-based Sky Power Global, also due to issues related to land acquisitions. Sky Power challenged the cancelations in the state high court, but lost the case.

ReNew Power Ventures
India’s largest clean energy company has increased its power generation capacity to 2 GW from 1 GW in the space of just one year. ReNew Power Ventures has another 1 GW of projects in the pipeline.

In an interview with PTI, Sumant Sinha, Chairman and CEO of ReNew Power Ventures, said: “We are aiming at 5 GW power generation capacity in the next two years.”

Sinha also has concerned over the falling tariffs, which went as low as INR 2.44/kWh in Rajasthan’s Badla solar park project this year. ReNew Power, which has invested INR 20 billion ($US 314 million) in Madhya Pradesh, alleges the state discom is not commissioning its plant, despite it being ready a week ago.

“The plant is ready since August 30, while the specified date of commissioning was September 7,” said ReNew’s chief operating officer Parag Sharma to Reuters.