Indian bankers said to be wary of solar as SunEdison totters
Indian lenders are becoming increasingly reluctant to finance solar-power projects by foreign companies as bankruptcy looms for SunEdison Inc. in the US, creditors familiar with the matter said.Lenders in the Indian economy are hesitating as the world’s biggest renewable energy company totters and record-low Indian solar tariffs stoke concern that projects could struggle financially, the three people said, asking not to be identified citing the sensitivity of the topic.That’s a threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of a roughly $100 billion expansion of solar power, aided by foreign investment, a target he set for energy security and to curb fossil-fuel pollution. Indian bankers are sensitive to heightened risk as they grapple with the nation’s worst bad-debt pile up in more than a decade after infrastructure investments soured.SunEdison, facing potential technical defaults on at least $1.4 billion of loans and credit facilities, is seeking to sell as much as 1 gigawatt of unfinished projects in India. TerraForm Global Inc., a holding company founded and controlled by the clean-energy developer, in a lawsuit filed 3 April in Delaware alleged SunEdison misused $231 million earmarked for projects in India.One of the people, from an Indian bank, said it’s unclear how much debt owed by SunEdison the bank will recover. Another lender said it’s owed about Rs.100 crore ($15 million) and is cautious about financing projects won at very low tariffs.