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U.S. Announces $150 Million Financing for Solar Power in India

September 30, 2011

New Delhi – The Board of Directors of the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced September 28 that it approved $150 million in financing to expand the use of solar energy to power telecommunication towers in India, a project that will significantly reduce CO2 emissions and create jobs in both the United States and India. 

“This project brings OPIC’s financing for renewable energy in India to more than $400 million approved in just the past year,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “OPIC is proud to be supporting India’s impressive ambitions to shift to a less carbon-intensive economy.” 

Project sponsor Applied Solar Technologies (AST) will use the OPIC loan to supplement cellular towers’ diesel-powered generators with solar hybrid energy systems that use proprietary controllers to integrate and optimize usage through photovoltaic technology, electricity from the electric grid, a battery bank charged by solar panels, and existing generators.

Together with AST, tower companies in India are working to reduce their dependence on site-situated diesel powered generator sets, in part because tower operators in remote areas lack access to the electrical grid. The potential for higher fuel prices and mounting pressure to reduce CO2 emissions make the shift to renewable energy an important priority for the tower companies and cell operators generally. In recognition of their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, AST's two largest customers won prestigious awards for their focus on more sustainable operations.

OPIC and other U.S. trade and investment finance agencies have played an important role in the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE). This project, as well as support for Husk Power in Bihar, Azure Power in Punjab, the India-wide South Asia Clean Energy Fund, and two recently announced renewable resources investment funds that can invest in India, are examples of the U.S. Government’s commitment to working with U.S. and Indian private sector investors to help India reach its clean energy objectives.

For more information on U.S.-India cooperation on clean energy, please see http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/energy-climate-change.html.