The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) is to lend US$74mn to renewable energy projects in India.
The debt is part of a US$250mn US government initiative to support renewable energy in India and will be bolstered by US$20mn in grants for solar facilities.
The loan will go towards a utility-scale PV project in the southern Indian state of Telangana, sponsored by ReNew Power Ventures, one of India’s largest solar and wind energy companies.
The 100MW project is the first in India to get funded through the financing agreement, which will see the US government, via Opic, lend to the development, support and construction of solar projects in India.
The deal was announced days after a new report showed that renewable energy in India is now growing more quickly than coal power plants.
From 2013 to 2016, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research firm, the amount of renewable energy projects being added to the grid in India grew by 15%, compared to 12.5% for coal.
Narendra Modi’s government has lofty targets in the clean energy space: by 2022 it has set a goal of adding 175GW of renewable energy facilities to the energy mix. Currently, renewables account for 14% of India’s power generation, or 42.6GW.
The cost of meeting these targets will amount to some US$150bn and the involvement of the US government may precede private US investment in the space.
In Mumbai earlier this year, the chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim), Fred Hochberg, spoke of his plans to support US exporters working in that sector.