Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), has invested 25 million euros ($29 million) in Germany's NexWafe GmbH.
RNESL has invested in NexWafe's "green solar wafers" technology and has also signed a pact with the Danish company Stiesdal A/S for hydrogen electrolyser strategy to expand its clean energy portfolio through partnerships.
The renewable energy arm of RIL has invested the said amount in a Series C financing round in NexWafe. The investment makes RIL a strategic lead investor in the company, that is developing and producing monocrystalline silicon wafers, also called green solar wafers, which are cost-effective. NexWafe has a proprietary technology that can drastically reduce the cost of producing photovoltaic (PV) cells.
"Our partnership with NexWafe testifies to this yet again, as we embark on an ambitious mission to meet affordable green energy needs of India's rapidly growing economy. Our investment in NexWafe signals an important step towards accelerating India's green energy transition and positioning India as a global leader in photovoltaic manufacturing," Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of RIL, said in a statement.
RIL further states that the technology can make "solar photovoltaics the lowest-cost form of renewable energy available" as it develops and produces monocrystalline silicon wafers directly from inexpensive raw materials, straight from the gas phase to finished wafers without the expensive and energy-intensive intermediate steps.
RIL will help NexWafe accelerate product, technology, and commercial development for the latter's solar photovoltaic products. The two companies have also entered into an 'India Strategic Partnership Agreement' that provides for joint technology development and commercialisation, at scale, of high efficiency monocrystalline "green solar wafers."
Reliance will have access to NexWafe's proprietary technology and plans to build large-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India using the NexWafe processes and technology.
Reliance plans to invest Rs 75,000 crore over the next three years to build a new clean energy business to reach its target of becoming net carbon neutral by 2035. The plan entails a Rs 60,000 crore investment in four giga factories that will manufacture and fully integrate all the critical components for the business; a Rs 15,000 crore investment in building the value chain, partnerships and future technologies, and repurposing the company’s engineering, project management, and construction capabilities toward clean energy.
The decision comes soon after RIL acquired REC Solar Holdings from China National Bluestar (Group) Co. Ltd at an enterprise value of $771 million and agreed to buy a 40% stake in Sterling & Wilson Solar Ltd, a Shapoorji Pallonji Group company, for about Rs 2,845 crores.
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