KKR launches platform to acquire renewable energy assets in India

Sanjay Grewal, Virescent CEO
Global investment firm KKR on Thursday announced the launch of a new platform, Virescent Infrastructure, to acquire renewable energy assets in India. Virescent, headed by Sanjay Grewal as chief executive officer, is headquartered in Mumbai.

Virescent would manage renewable energy assets and KKR’s Infrastructure Fund would make the investments. The platform has been created for the Indian market. “We would expand the portfolio by investing in operational renewable energy assets in India,” said Grewal.  

KKR globally has 10,000 MW of renewable energy portfolio. Virescent would identify investment opportunities that have stable cash flows from long-term contracts with state and central government counterparties across India. It currently owns 317 MWp of solar assets located in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu which KKR recently acquired from Sterling & Wilson Solar for Rs 1,554 crore.

KKR has also entered into definitive agreements to acquire other operating solar projects across three different states. Once closed, these projects will also become part of the Virescent platform. Grewal, however, did not give further details citing confidentiality clauses in the deals.

With 30 years of experience in the Indian and global infrastructure sector, Grewal would be responsible for identifying, planning, and executing investment opportunities for Virescent. “Positive government initiatives have created a number of long-term investment opportunities in India’s rapidly transforming renewable energy sector. Outside of targets, the government has been supporting policy to maintain the sanctity of contracts, clearing payment dues, and bringing in plug and play model through Solar Energy Corporation and NTPC,” Grewal told Business Standard in an interview.

Renewable power is estimated to comprise around 60 percent of India’s installed electricity capacity by 2030, from around 24 percent at present.

“The launch of Virescent is a meaningful milestone for KKR’s Asia Pacific infrastructure strategy amid India’s ambitions to install 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030. We look forward to playing a part in meeting these goals and supporting the government’s Green Energy Corridor initiative through our investment in Virescent,” said Hardik Shah, managing director of KKR’s Infrastructure team. 

The company said the new platform would deepen KKR’s presence in the Indian market. KKR has been investing in India since 2006. It is engaged in the operations and strategies of its portfolio companies across asset classes, including infrastructure, private equity and credit, to corporations and real estate businesses.

KKR’s recently announced investments across asset classes includes, but is not limited to, Reliance Jio, Reliance Retail, IndiGrid, JB Chemicals, Max Healthcare and Ramky Envirotech.

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