Azure Power gets $135 mn from IFC, European lenders for rooftop solar unit
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Azure Power Global Ltd has raised $135 million (Rs 900 crore) in debt funding from International Financial Corporation (IFC) and three European lenders to expand its rooftop solar unit, the renewable energy company said in a statement.

IFC, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, will provide $45 million. Dutch development bank FMO will contribute $40 million while France's Proparco ($30 million) and Austrian development bank OeMB ($20 million) will account for the rest.

New York Stock Exchange-listed Azure Power said the fully owned unit, Azure Power Rooftop (GenCo.) Pvt. Ltd, will use the capital to finance projects with a total capacity of 200 megawatt across India.

IFC said in a separate disclosure that its participation affirms the viability of the rooftop solar sector in India and seeks to promote greater private sector investment in distributed solar power development.

IFC is an existing investor in Azure Power. The energy company had raised an undisclosed sum in its first round of funding in 2008 from Helion Advisors and Foundation Capital. In the Series B funding in 2010, it had raised about $10 million from IFC--the first for the World Bank arm in the solar sector since launching its clean energy investment programme.

FMO, too, had previously invested in Azure Power. “Earlier, we had invested approximately $30 million in Azure Power, and this will be our second investment in the company, which is testament to FMO's commitment to clean energy initiatives in India and our support of Azure Power,” Linda Broekhuizen, chief investment officer at FMO, said.

Azure Power has a portfolio of about 2 gigawatt of solar capacity across India, the statement said.

Azure is the only Indian independent power producer to be listed on the NYSE. It constructs solar plants and also provides operations and maintenance services for power projects.

Other major rooftop solar companies in the country include CleanMax Solar, Amplus Energy Solutions and Sunvest Energy Pvt. Ltd.

Rooftop projects have gained traction in recent years after the government set a target of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, including about 40 GW from rooftop solar.

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