MUMBAI — State-run State Bank of India Oct. 30 announced the sanction of loans worth Rs. 2,317 crore in collaboration with the World Bank to finance grid-connected solar rooftop projects in India. 

SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters here that it has availed line of credit facilities worth $625 million from the World Bank for lending to viable solar rooftop projects. 

"The advantage of giving loan to solar power projects is there is no fuel supply risk unlike other power projects. Secondly, it helps in protecting mother Earth," he said. 

An SBI statement said the loans are intended for developers and end-users to install rooftop solar systems on the rooftops of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings.

Financing is being provided to those with sound technical capacity, relevant experience and creditworthiness that meet SBI standards, it said.

The seven companies approved for loans are JSW Energy, Hinduja Renewables, Tata Renewable Energy, Adani Group, Azure Power, Cleantech Solar and Hero Solar Energy.

Kumar said SBI has so far sanctioned 43 projects with aggregate credit facilities of Rs. 2,766 crore under the program, which will add 695 MW of solar rooftop capacity to the grid. 

He said the bank has so far drawn-down over 50 percent of the line credit and the remaining facilities are expected to be used in the next 18 months.

So far, SBI has lent a total of Rs. 12,000 crore to solar energy projects, and there are hardly any bad loan-related concerns in this sector, Kumar added.

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