IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a Rs 18 Crore (US$3 million) loan to independent energy producer Azure Power for one of its subsidiaries to construct a rooftop solar project in the Indian state of Gujarat, thereby expanding access to clean energy and creating economic opportunities for local residents.
This is the country’s first rooftop solar project based on a public private partnership model in India. The Gujarat government awarded the project through competitive bidding for a period of 25 years. To implement the project, Azure Power is constructing a 2.5 megawatt rooftop solar project in the state capital Gandhinagar that will be connected to the state electricity grid. IFC’s investment in the subsidiary is expected to help avoid around 3,600 tons of carbon emissions a year.
“The project is a role model for rooftop generation of solar power across states in India. With this, Azure Power has forayed into distributed solar power generation. We are committed to driving down cost of energy for end consumers,” said Inderpreet S. Wadhwa, Azure Power’s Chief Executive Officer. “IFC’s investment in the project demonstrates the viability of distributed solar power generation in India.”
The project is one of two pilots being implemented in Gandhinagar. The developer has rented rooftops of government and private buildings to install and operate grid-interactive photovoltaic systems. These installations feed the electricity generated into the grid for which the state distribution company pays a fixed tariff under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
“The project will assist the state in introducing public-private participation to generate green energy at the household level. The project supports reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Anita George, IFC Infrastructure Director for Asia. “At the same time, local residents can earn additional income by offering rooftops for installing solar panels.”
Azure Power is an existing client of IFC and has a current portfolio of about 55 megawatt of solar power projects in India.