Softbank subsidiary wins 350MW Indian solar project

The deal marks the Japanese telecoms giant's first step towards meeting its $20bn commitment to clean energy in the country.

SB Energy, a New Delhi-based joint venture between Japanese telecoms group Softbank, Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises and Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn Technology, has won a bid to develop a 350-megawatt (MW) solar plant in Andhra Pradesh, on India's south-eastern coast.

Located in the state-owned Ghani Sakunala Solar Park, the project is being tendered as part of the Phase II of India's National Solar Mission programme. It benefits from a 25-year tariff of INR4.63 (€0.064, $0.07) per kilowatt-hour. 

NTPC, a state-owned power company that is also the country's largest utility, is the agency responsible for awarding the concession. 

It is the first investment made by Softbank as part of its $20 billion commitment to the Indian solar market. It is also SB Energy's debut move in its effort to develop 20 gigawatts (GW) of power capacity in the country. 

“Our goal is to create a market-leading renewable energy company, to fuel India's growth with clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy. I am glad that we could open our account today with this win,” said Nikesh Arora, Softbank's president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

India's solar market is expected to post a 250 percent growth rate for 2015, according to Softbank. 

The Indian government has an ambitious goal to achieve 100GW of solar power capacity by 2022, dwarfing the 4GW of currently installed capacity. 

Tokyo-based Softbank also plans to team with Osaka-based electronics maker Sharp Corporation to roll out solar power plants in Japan.