One of India’s leading independent power producers in the solar energy sector, ACME Solar, has signed a shareholders’ agreement with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) / Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3i) and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) to develop a 250-megawatt solar power project located in Rajasthan, India.
The total cost of the project, announced on June 17, is just under the equivalent of US$200 million, of which about a quarter is funded through the equity contributions of the partners, with the UNOPS share being 10%. UNOPS, a UN organization, will co-invest with S3i. Once in operation, the solar plant will provide clean electricity to 500,000 households under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Solar Energy Corporation of India.
ACME Solar currently has a portfolio of 5 gigawatts (GW), of which 2.3GW is operational and 2.7GW is under construction. The assets are well diversified across 13 states in India. The company has an asset base of about US$2 billion.
Commenting on the deal, ACME Group founder and chairman Manoj Upadhyay says: “This partnership is a key milestone towards ACME’s vision for developing a portfolio of 25GW of renewable energy projects, which comes in line with India’s plans to achieve 450GW of renewable energy by 2030.”
In addition to its equity investments, S3i will be playing an operational role in the project with a major emphasis on social impact measurement. S3i helps structure deals and invests in sustainable infrastructure, and boosts impactful innovation, aiming to bring the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) closer to reality.
Collaborating with strategic and institutional investors, S3i aims to invest in large-scale infrastructure projects in developing countries focusing on its mandated areas of affordable housing, renewable energy and health. In the renewable energy sector, S3i’s main objective is to scale up investments towards the carbon neutrality agenda and consequently improve the lives of millions of people around the globe.
The project will be one of IFU’s largest renewable investments to date in terms of installed megawatt capacity. It is also its first investment under the India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership signed between the two governments in 2020. The investment is made on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund, which is backed by the Danish state, large Danish pension funds and other private investors.
MYRA Investments assisted in structuring the transaction. The Dubai-based company invests, manages and provides structuring advice on the development, construction and operations of solar, wind, hydro and storage projects in select emerging markets.
IndusLaw acted as the legal adviser for S3i and IFU in the transaction, while Khaitan & Company represented ACME Solar.