Greenko secures Rs 5,500 cr loan for first off-river power storage project

Greenko has tied up a Rs 5,500 crore loan from (PFC) to build India’s first off-river energy storage project, which will be located in Andhra Pradesh, according to two people aware of the matter.

The 20-year loan has been priced at 11% per annum interest and the power generator will have to start repaying the loan only after the project has been commissioned. After commissioning, it will get a one-year moratorium during which it will not have to make any payments to the lender.

The storage project, fully owned by Greenko, is being built at a cost of Rs 7,600 crore, of which the debt component is being funded by PFC, a public sector undertaking. The remaining funds for construction will be put in by Greenko as equity.

An off-river energy storage project involves construction of two large water reservoirs at two ends of a gradient on a stretch of land. During the day, the storage facility uses solar energy to pump the water from the bottom reservoir to the top. At night the water is pumped down to generate hydro energy. The capacity of the storage facility is 1,200 megawatt. Such storage facilities exist at hydro power projects located along rivers but this will be the first to be constructed on a land mass.

Greenko and PFC did not respond to ET’s queries.

The storage facility will cater to the spot market, state-owned power distribution companies and commercial customers. Commercial customers will account for less than 20% of the business.

Around the storage facility multiple solar and wind energy projects are being developed. They could also buy storage capacity from the facility. Greenko itself is developing around 900 megawatts of energy generating projects in the vicinity along with ArcelorMittal. Other private players such as Ayana Renewable are also building projects in the area.

Greenko, which is majority owned by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund

, is developing around 8 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity. It counts among its other investors Japan’s Orix and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The founders, Anil Kumar Chalamalasetty and Mahesh Kolli, own a little under 10% stake in the company.