Supporting U.S. jobs at companies in eight states, the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved an $80.32 million direct loan for the purchase of concentrated solar power technology by Reliance Power, Ltd. in Rajasthan, India. The project, "Rajasthan Sun Technique Energy Private Limited," is a subsidiary of Reliance Power and is being co-financed by the Asian Development Bank and FMO, the Dutch development bank.
While accompanying President Obama on his trip to India in November, 2010, Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg signed a $5 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Anil Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Power. The MOU proposed the purchase of 900 megawatts of renewable energy generating equipment, in addition to the purchase of 8,000MWs of gas-fired technology from U.S. manufacturers and service providers over a period of five years. Since then, Ex-Im Bank has financed $760 million in three Reliance Power renewable energy transactions supporting 165 megawatts of solar and 2400MWs of gas.
U.S. companies potentially involved in the transaction include AREVA Solar Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.); E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. (Wilmington, Del.); Clifford Chance Rogers Wells LLP (Washington, D.C.); 3M Company (St. Paul, Minn.); Sika Corp. (Lyndhurst, N.J.); CCI Corp. (Tulsa, Okla.); Certainteed Corp. (Valley Forge, Pa.); Huck International Inc. (Waco, Texas); and Weed Instrument Company Inc. (Round Rock, Texas).
"This transaction will give renewable energy U.S. exporters a larger footprint in India, and it will help them be competitive against the German and Chinese companies in this field," said Hochberg. "We are excited to be at the forefront of financing this innovative technology and meeting the demands in India for cutting-edge, American-made solar equipment."
"The Ex-Im Bank loan is an important component in helping U.S. companies like AREVA Solar, and our subcontractors, compete for and execute solar energy projects in a competitive global market while creating American jobs and economic growth." said Bill Gallo, Chief Executive Officer, AREVA Solar.
"Reliance Power is proud to be a leader in India's clean energy future. This is the second loan approval by Ex-Im in our renewable energy initiative," stated Jayarama P. Chalasani, Chief Executive Officer of Reliance Power. "Our strategic tie-up with Ex-Im is unmatched in terms of its scope and size. This partnership plays an important role in meeting India's growing energy needs." Chalasani discussed export potential for U.S. companies at the breakout session, "Exploring Opportunities in India," today at the Ex-Im Bank 2012 Annual Conference.
The purchase will showcase a concentrated solar power technology known as compact linear Fresnel reflector (CLFR) from AREVA Solar Inc. CLFR technology boils water using a series of rotating flat mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a central elevated system of tubes that contain water. The solar system produces superheated steam that is collected in a piping system and transported to a steam turbine to produce electricity. This project along with the Kogan Creek Solar Boost Project in Australia (44 MW under construction) are the first to use technology of this kind from AREVA Solar on a large commercial scale.
Since fiscal year 2011, Ex-Im Bank has financed seven Indian solar power generating projects. With today's transaction the Bank's total authorizations for these projects is $256.7 million, supporting 205 megawatts, which would generate enough electricity to power about 250,000 homes in India. Ex-Im Bank is one of the largest financiers of renewable energy projects in India.
The demand for solar power in India is in part due to India's national solar initiative, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The initiative's objective is to bring 20,000 megawatts of installed solar capacity into the nationwide grid by 2020. Seven percent of the energy installed capacity will be renewable energy in the country. Ex-Im Bank's support was needed due to a general lack of available long-term financing at commercially feasible terms for solar projects in India.