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REC Solar Acquired By India's Reliance For $771 Million

REC Solar Acquired By India's Reliance For $771 Million
REC Solar Holdings has been acquired from China National Bluestar (Group) Co Ltd. by India’s Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), in a deal worth $771 million in cash, RNSEL said on Sunday.
The RIL aims to become a net carbon zero company by 2035.
The acquisition of the Norwegian solar panel manufacturer by the conglomerate's Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd follows the parent company's declaration in June that it would invest $10.1 billion in clean energy over the next three years.
Reliance, which is owned by Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man, intends to construct solar capacity of at least 100 gigawatts by 2030, accounting for more than a fifth of India's goal of 450 gigawatts by the end of the decade.
Four "giga factories" are aimed to be built by the group for producing solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells, and green hydrogen.
"Together with our other recent investments, Reliance is now ready to set up a global scale integrated Photovoltaic Giga factory and make India a manufacturing hub for lowest cost and highest efficiency solar panels," Ambani said in the statement.
An announcement of making an investment of $50 million in Ambri Inc, a U.S. energy storage company, was announced by RNESL in August, which also included billionaire Bill Gates, investment firm Paulson & Co, and others.
Targets of becoming net zero-carbon companies by 2050 have been set by oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc because of continuously increasing pressure from investors and climate activists.
According to data research firm IHS Markit, the growth rate in solar installations this year is expected to be the fastest in five years.
With the aim of providing reliable and affordable power to customers in India and overseas markets, his company will continue to invest and collaborate with global players, Ambani stated.
Its giga factory that will make PV panels will make use of REC's technology and the factories are expected to have an initial annual capacity of 4 GW and eventually be expanded to achieve a capacity of 10 GW, Reliance said.
The 25-year-old REC, based in Norway, is a pioneer in the field of solar energy, with regional hubs in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia-Pacific. The company is a specialist in making long-life solar cells and panels for clean, low-cost solar energy. The company has three manufacturing facilities - two in Norway that make solar grade polysilicon production and one in Singapore that manufactures photovoltaic cells and modules.
The green push by Reliance comes as India increases its renewable energy capacity, which is currently around 100 GW, to meet about two-fifths of its electricity needs by 2030 as part of the Paris climate agreement.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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