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Project Finance Loan for SunBorne Solar India


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Business News India show that Sunborne Energy LLC (“Sunborne” or the “Company”) was set up in 2008 by a team of professionals, with the backing of General Catalyst Partners and Khosla Ventures, to develop and operate solar power projects in India, mainly using solar thermal or CSP technology.

Within CSP technologies, Sunborne plans to use parabolic trough technology for its initial greenfield projects targeted in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh which are conceived to be developed under state Government and Central Government Financing Schemes as applicable. At present the Company has one greenfield 15 MW Photo Voltaic (PV) project under development in Gujarat and is following National Solar Mission (Central Government Scheme) procedures for securing allocation of additional solar power projects.

It plans to have 700 MW of operating solar power generation capacity by 2017. Sunborne already has a strong team in place and also plans to develop crucial in-house EPC capability for executing solar thermal construction projects in future.

General Catalyst Partners provided seed funding for the Company, which was founded by Mr. Yogi Goswami, a renowned academic in the area of solar power, and his associates. Khosla Ventures, a well known VC fund in the cleantech space, provided additional initial equity along with General Catalyst Partners in 2009. Currently, the major shareholders of Sunborne are General Catalyst (40% stake), Khosla Ventures (25% stake) and management (35% stake).

The total project cost is estimated at about US$230 million of which US$70 million is estimated as Project equity. Hindmarsh LLC t/as Hindmarsh Finance arranged a US$160 million  long term debt, assuming Sunborne is able to develop and finance one 15 MW PV project and one 50 MW CSP project in the next 12 months.

Sunborne is raising a total of US$24.8 million at present, partly as equity (US$18.9 million) and partly as Compulsorily Convertible Debentures (US$5.9 million), to fund project development activities for its first few projects. LLS Global Funding arranged for IFC to participate in this through an investment of US$4.1 million in equity and US$5.9 million in quasi-equity instruments for its own account. This is proposed to provide partial funding for the equity requirement for the first few projects to be executed by Sunborne.

The first few construction projects of the Company are expected to be developed in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The proposed sites are in district Kutch in western Gujarat, in the North West corner of Andhra Pradesh near Gattu village and in the Thar desert in Phalodi in the Jodhpur District of Rajasthan.

The sites are well placed for solar power generation with adequate solar resource. The sites for the solar thermal project have also access to water resource and nearby grid substations.


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