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SoftBank launches $930m solar venture in India

SoftBank has again made a major play in solar energy investment, this time in India.

Just a week after a multibillion dollar announcement of investment in solar in Saudi Arabia, the Japanese multinational has agreed to launch a $930m Indian joint solar energy venture with Chinese firm GCL System Integration Technology Co as part of its India solar investment roadmap.

The venture will work on solar photovoltaic technology, which is used in solar panels. GCL will provide technology and SoftBank will assist in obtaining land and regulatory approvals.
SoftBank said in 2015 that it would invest up to $20bn along with Foxconn Technology and Bharti Enterprises in solar projects in India and aimed to have a capacity of up to 20 GW.

India has set a target to achieve an operational solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022, five times current levels, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s renewable energy strategy.

SoftBank and GCL’s new venture will eventually have a capacity of 4GW and will be implemented in two 2GW phases. The Japanese firm will hold 60 percent of the venture’s shares and GCL will own 40 percent.

Funding for the project will come from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which counts Apple Inc, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund among its backers.

As of last May, it had raised over $93bn, making it the world’s largest private equity fund.à‚