British International Investment commits US$89 million to scale renewable energy generation in India


British International Investment (formerly known as CDC Group), a UK government-owned development finance institution, today announced a total commitment of US$89 million to scale renewable energy capacity in India–putting into action its pledge to commit $1 billion in climate finance to India over the next five years.

The investment includes an INR 3.5 billion (US$47 million) follow-on commitment to Hyderabad-based corporate solar solutions provider Fourth Partner Energy and an INR 3.15 billion (US$42 million) debt finance to Thar Surya 1 Private Limited – an Indian subsidiary of Italian power utility Enel S.p.A (Enel).

BII’s US$47 million follow-on commitment will fund Fourth Partner Energy’s approximately 294MW of greenfield renewable generation capacity across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam–helping its commercial and industrial customers avoid nearly 400, 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This latest funding brings BII’s total commitment to Fourth Partner Energy to US$80 million – with an investment goal of promoting clean energy alternatives to coal across South and Southeast Asia.

The US$42 million debt investment to Thar Surya 1 Private Limited forms part of an estimated US$200 million total project that aims to fund the development, construction, and maintenance of a 300MW solar project in India. The project is designed to displace thermal generation in the grid, abate 697,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, and meet the equivalent demand of 151,000 consumers in the country.

Under its new five-year strategy, BII targets 30% of its new investments to be in climate finance, with a strong emphasis on investing in clean and renewable infrastructure.

Commenting on the India investments, Srini Nagarajan, managing director and Head of Asia at BII, said: “Investing to bolster India renewable energy is a critical strategic step toward ensuring the country’s growth ambitions align with its goals to achieve a net-zero carbon future. BII’s investments in Fourth Partner Energy and the Thar Solar PV project are a continuation of more than 30 years’ experience of investing in India, and its objective to help tackling the climate emergency while meeting India’s increased demand and consumption of energy. As such, these two investments demonstrate our commitment to leveraging our partnerships and expertise in the energy sector to help deploy clean renewable energy at scale and support India’s green growth. We are pleased to put into action BII’s pledge to commit $1 billion in climate finance to India over the next five years.”

Vivek Subramanian, co-founder and executive director at Fourth Partner Energy, said: “This reaffirmation from CDC (BII) will help cement our company’s leadership position in the C&I solar segment and is reflective of our aggressive expansion plans of a 3GW portfolio of RE assets across geographies by 2025. We believe our corporate customers can benefit from diversified clean energy solutions like onsite and offsite, wind-solar hybrid, energy storage, and electric mobility solutions. We are leveraging these opportunities to accelerate the green energy goals of C&I customers by partnering with leading strategic ESG financiers like CDC.”

Over the last strategy period, BII (under CDC Group) announced a US$30 million green lending facility to Tata Cleantech Capital to enhance water and energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emission in India. It also founded Ayana Renewable Power in 2018, and has committed US $230 million to date, helping to mobilise further capital to accelerate green energy capacity for India’s long-term economic development.

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