The Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Energy is planning an asset-light strategy and is evaluating options in the solar rooftop and energy storage segments for a stronger foothold in renewable energy.
“Energy storage is one area where a paradigm shift is happening. It could be an opportunity for a generator like us to look at,” Prashant Jain, joint managing director and chief executive officer, JSW Energy, said in an interview.
“Going directly to the customer through solar rooftops is another option. The space is changing. As a company, we are not just looking at it from the generator’s point of view. We were working on an asset-heavy balance sheet, asset light is the new normal now,” he added.
Jain said not much progress had been made in the company’s pending deal with Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) to buy the steel company’s power plant in Chhattisgarh. “Both companies are committed to the transaction, and there is a long stop date, June 2018. We are optimistic,” Jain said.
An agreement to sell 1,000 MW thermal power generation capacity to JSW Energy was signed in May 2016. JSPL was committed to closure of the agreement, a company spokesperson said in response to an email.
In addition to renewables, JSW Energy will evaluate options in thermal power. “As and when an opportunity arises at the right valuation we will look at it. Capacities that are stranded were set up at Rs 8-10 crore per MW,” Jain said, adding the system was stabilising with Rs 3 a unit as the normal purchase price for thermal power.
JSW Energy was considering blending imported coal with local supply at its plant in Karnataka but this has hit a roadblock.
“You can only participate in the coal linkage auction when you have a power purchase agreement, which is not viable for power from the Karnataka plant at current exchange rates. We will look at blending opportunities once the agreement is in place,” Jain said.