Tata Power to invest `1,500 cr in renewable energy

Tata Power plans to keep up with its annual investment of Rs 1,500 crore in renewable energy, even as the company’s net worth is being eroded by its flagship coal-based project in Mundra.

“We have a lot of support from the board of directors when it comes to our renewable energy plans. So, I am sure we will get the equity required from them,” said Rahul Shah, chief of business development and renewables at Tata Power.

The company had been under the cloud of Mundra, which became financially unviable after Indonesia changed its coal export laws. The 4,000 megawatt (Mw) imported- coal based project has been eating into the balance sheet of the company, as it has already taken impairment losses of around Rs 2,500 crore.

Tata Power would require around Rs 400- 450 crore of annual equity for expanding its renewables capacity. The company plans to add as much as 150- 200 Mw of wind and 30 Mw of solar capacity every year. The company, which has a total capacity of 8,521 Mw, produces 500 Mw from renewable sources. The company has also decided to house its renewable energy projects into a new special purpose vehicle ( SPV). “We have 375 Mw of old capacity in Tata Power’s books. But the rest is part of the new project,” said Shah.

The company has plans to monetise the SPV to raise its own equity. “But the equity raising plans is two years away, which is when we will reach a critical mass,” said Shah.

Tata Power had earlier decided it will ensure 20 per cent of its total generation capacity from clean energy sources. It is also planning to expanding its presence across states. It is already present in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with its wind- based projects. It is now eyeing Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh as well.

Tata Power has presence in renewables space abroad as well. It has a 240 Mw geothermal energy project in Indonesia, in which it owns stake. The company claims the exploration is progressing well for the project, even as it faces delay with signing apower purchase agreement with the government. The project has been delayed by a few months as either of the parties are unable to agree on certain terms. “This is the normal part of discussions while signing power purchase agreements,” said Shah, refusing to expand.

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