AES Corporation: UK wind developer acquired
AES Wind Generation, a wholly owned subsidiary of AES Corporation announced that it has acquired Your Energy Ltd (YEL), a United Kingdom (U.K.) based wind developer, and also has signed an agreement to acquire a 51 percent stake in a wind portfolio from 3E, a Polish wind developer. Together the investments will add more than 700 MW to AES Wind Generation’s European pipeline and will require $400 million of AES equity over five years. Of that amount, $120 million of AES equity will be invested in order to bring 200 MW into construction by the end of 2011. These developments take place as AES Wind Generation announced it has brought three of its projects into commercial operation throughout Europe during the first quarter of 2010, including the 35 MW St. Patrick project in France, the 22 MW North Rhins project in Scotland, and the 156 MW St. Nikola at Kavarna project, Bulgaria.
“In line with our strategy to focus on high-growth renewable energy markets in Europe, these transactions expand AES Wind Generation’s portfolio within the U.K. and into Poland. With more than 200 MW in advanced-stage development, these investments will begin contributing to our growth in 2012 and beyond,” stated Paul Hanrahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AES.
Under the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive, both the U.K. and Poland must meet 15 percent of their gross energy consumption through renewables by 2020, and wind installations are expected to play a significant role in meeting this requirement. The U.K. is expected to bring an additional 20 GW of wind operating capacity on-line by 2020 to meet its European renewable target, while Poland is forecast to increase its wind operating capacity by six GW, according to Emerging Energy Research’s Europe Wind Energy Market Forecast Update for fourth quarter 2009.
The acquisition of YEL includes a development pipeline of more than 300 MW. Of that amount, AES Wind Generation plans to begin construction on 48 MW by the end of 2010. The YEL acquisition underscores AES Wind Generation’s commitment to wind in the U.K., and effectively doubles its development portfolio. It also follows the completion of AES Wind Generation’s first U.K. wind project, 22 MW North Rhins in Scotland, which achieved commercial operation in January 2010.
The agreement with 3E marks AES Wind Generation’s entry into the Polish wind market. According to the agreement, AES Wind Generation would acquire a 51 percent stake in 422 MW of 3E’s development pipeline. AES Wind Generation expects to begin construction on approximately 34 MW in 2010 and 120 MW in 2011.
Also in Europe, in March 2010 AES Wind Generation achieved commercial operation of the 156 MW Kavarna wind project in Bulgaria, the country’s largest, and the 34.5 MW St Patrick wind project in France. AES moved quickly to develop the wind project in Bulgaria, applying its knowledge of the local power markets gained while constructing the 670 MW Maritza East coal-fired power plant, which is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2010.
AES Wind Generation has approximately 1,700 MW of wind capacity in operation globally, and expects to bring an additional 99 MW on-line in China through the end of 2010. Earlier this year AES Wind Generation brought the 101 MW Armenia Mountain project on-line in Pennsylvania, U.S. The current development pipeline includes approximately 6,000 MW of projects across Asia, Europe and North America. The announcements come one week after AES Solar Energy, Ltd. announced the financial close of a 43 MW project in Italy, which will more than double its solar operating capacity.
The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES - News) is a Fortune 500 global power company with generation and distribution businesses. Through our diverse portfolio of thermal and renewable fuel sources, we provide affordable and sustainable energy to 29 countries. Our workforce of 27,000 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world's changing power needs. Our 2009 revenues were $14 billion and we own and manage $40 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit www.aes.com.
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