Ex-Im Bank bets big on Indian renewable energy sector, grants 2nd loan to Miasole for solar exports to India

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Greentech Lead Asia: Miasole, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solar-energy company, has signed a deal with Sai Maithili Power Company to supply solar panels for an 11.6-megawatt (DC) solar PV project in Rajasthan.

Miasole has procured $9 million direct loan from Ex-Im Bank of the United States to support the project which was recently commissioned under India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

This is the second loan to Miasole from Ex-Im Bank to support exports to India. In FY 2010, Ex-Im Bank provided a $3.7 million loan to finance exports of Miasole’s thin-film PV solar panels to a solar project in Gujarat, India.

Ex- Im Bank approved nearly $35.8 billion in total authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record. The bank authorized approximately $355.5 million to support exports of renewable-energy exports in FY 2012, including $216 million for five solar-energy projects in India.

Miasole specializes in the development of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film PV solar panels, which are among the highest-efficiency and lowest-cost solar panels.

To support the export-related business, Miasole is doubling its workforce to 400 employees in California in 2013, the company said.

Ex-Im Bank supported the project considering the potential in the fast growing renewable energy market in India. “Through this support, Ex-Im Bank is assisting the company in expanding its manufacturing base and creating many new jobs,” said Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred P. Hochberg.

The financial support will help Miasole reduce the export cost.

Miasole CEO John Carrington said the company has plans to partner with leading developers and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies in sustainable markets such as India.

Meanwhile the Government of India recently issued a statement that it will set clear guidelines on solar imports. This is in response to the concerns raised by domestic manufacturers about the quality and cost of the imported solar panels and solar cells, especially the Chinese.

The government revealed that of the 148 grid-connected solar power plants of 551MW aggregate capacity installed under JNNSM in India, nearly70 percent are using imported solar cells or modules, a majority is from Chinese makers.

Chaitra Narayan, associate director, Chemicals, Materials & Foods Practice, Frost & Sullivan, told Greentech Lead that Indian solar industry is heavily dependent on Chinese companies for solar materials and chemicals.

“Chinese companies supply almost all the chemicals and materials such as Wet Process Chemicals, Metal Paste, front and backsheets and EVA encapsulants to India. This is in addition to the finished cells and modules that they already supply to the Indian market,” she said.

editor@greentechlead.com