The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has doubled down its exposure to domestic solar energy player Orb Energy with an additional investment of USD 20 million (about Rs 163.73 crore) in a follow-on loan.
Bengaluru-based Orb will use the money to support its in-house financing facility for rooftop and ground-mounted solar customers, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Orb Energy is a vertically integrated provider of solar energy solutions since 2006. It manufactures its own range of solar panels, designs, installs, and services solar systems, and also provides critical finance for up to five years to its commercial and industrial customers.
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The company had received its first loan of USD 10 million from the DFC to support its in-house finance to SME customers. We will be using the loan from the DFC to finance to our SME customers so as to enable them to gain quick and easy access to rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems from us, Damian Miller, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Orb Energy, said. Jake Levine, chief climate officer at DFC, said that this second loan to Orb will further expand the renewable energy use by SMEs in India. This loan will also create additional jobs and cut energy costs for businesses, boosting economic growth in a sector that is key to the country’s development goals.
Orb Energy was founded in 2006 by Damian Miller and NP Ramesh and, since inception, it has sold over 1,60,000 solar systems in the country, with cumulative installations of around 170 MW of rooftop solar systems. Headquartered in Bengaluru, Orb manufactures its own range of solar photovoltaic panels and employs 250 in the country. Orb also has a subsidiary in Kenya. The DFC partners with the private sector and makes investments in a variety of industries, including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology.