Azure Power, the developer and owner of India’s first privately operated, utility scale, solar power plant, today announced the close of their Series B investment. Helion Advisors and Foundation Capital who provided Azure’s Series A funding in September 2008 and IFC, a member of the Word Bank Group participated in this round. For IFC, this is the first solar project investment under the newly established cleantech investment program, in addition to being their first cleantech investment in South Asia.
Azure Power is the recipient of the first direct investment from IFC in megawatt scale grid-connected solar power project sector, said Anita George, IFC Infrastructure Director for Asia. This is also IFC’s first cleantech investment in South Asia and will go a long way in contributing to the development of the solar power generation sector in India. Under its cleantech investment program, IFC combined its early stage equity investment expertise and global industry knowledge to support Azure Power's market leading cleantech innovations for positive climate change impact and energy security".
For Helion, this is the first portfolio investment in Renewable Energy and Foundation Capital is a leading investor in clean technology companies. Speaking about the investment, Sanjeev Agarwal, Managing Partner, Helion, said “We at Helion view Renewable Energy as a very exciting investment opportunity. Apart to the potential for high growth, the sector, particularly Solar Energy, presents the opportunity for making a difference to the lives of millions in the country who have thus far not seen or seen very little of electricity. Azure Power brings something that is rare in the industry; the actual experience of setting up, owning and running a solar power plant. This first mover advantage, I am sure will keep them in good stead as they continue their aggressive growth plans”. “Azure Power is a clear market leader in solar energy” said Ashmeet Sidana, General Partner at Foundation Capital. “We believe the company’s innovative technology and model for bringing clean, affordable energy to its customers will be a powerful combination as they help to solve India’s growing need for electricity.”
”Azure’s Series B funding by world’s leading clean technology and infrastructure investors IFC, Helion Advisors and Foundation Capital, is a clear recognition of the potential of MW scale solar power generation in India and Azure’s market leading role in Solar IPP space in the South Asian region. We have developed a strong pipeline across several states in India and have very aggressive plans to add distributed generation capacity. It won’t be too long before Solar Power transitions from the most promising renewable to the most credible renewable source for managing the peak power loads in the region as well as improve the livelihood of communities in rural India.” said Inderpreet S Wadhwa, Chief Executive Officer, Azure Power.
Over the next 12 months, Azure plans to implement several MW scale solar power plants across the country. The plants, once fully operational, will produce clean energy; result in avoidance of CO2 emissions and supply regular power to a large number of households. In addition to Punjab, Azure Power has already inked agreements with Governments of Gujarat, Haryana and Karnataka and is also in talks with State Governments in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
India suffers from serious power shortages (an energy deficit of 11%) and poor reliability of supply. Almost a third of the population does not have access to electricity. This low availability of power is critically hampering the country’s industrial growth and competitiveness. Solar Power can make a difference because it is most abundantly available during the time of peak power loads. The timing of the funding assumes significance, as it comes at a time when the country is embarking on an ambitious 20,000 MW National Solar Mission by Year 2020.
About Azure Power
Azure Power (azurepower.com) is an independent solar power producer and the first private sector company to implement a megawatt scale grid connected solar photo-voltaic power plant in India. Azure Power's team has decades of experience building industry-leading companies, executing complex infrastructure projects, and financing high-growth enterprises. Azure Power creates innovative solutions to deliver solar energy to its utility, government, and commercial customers. By providing solar energy as a service, Azure Power manages entire project process for their customers, by reducing the upfront and ongoing operational costs and management.