COMPANIES

Siemens acquires Israel’s Solel Solar Systems for $418m

Siemens has acquired Israel-based Solel Solar Systems for $418m.

Siemens acquired a 63 per cent stake from Ecofin, a London-based investment firm and another major shareholder. It now owns 100 per cent of Solel.

Solel is one of the world’s two leading suppliers of solar receivers and has been present on the Spanish market since 2006, and is also active in the US market. It produces solar troughs and is involved in the manufacture and installation of solar fields for large-scale solar energy production. The company was set up in 1992 by former Luz International staff, after it went bankrupt. Luz International produced the first solar trough technology in 1984.

This year, Solel posted revenues of $90m, doubling the $40m revenue it posted last year. Siemens’ environmental portfolio posted revenue of nearly $19bn in 2008. Siemens is currently projecting annual double-digit growth rates for concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) plants by 2020.

René Umlauft, CEO of the Renewable division said, “The market for solar thermal energy is highly promising, and vigorous growth is expected to continue for Solel.”

Siemens acquired a 28 per cent stake in Archimedes Solar Energy in March 2009, an Italian based company which has developed technology for receiver tubes

Cisco launches smart grid pilot

Germany-based Yello Strom and US-based Cisco have announced the launch of a smart grid pilot, with the aim of creating an intelligent energy system that allows consumers to measure and control their power consumption.

In the pilot, 70 homes and businesses have been selected to trial the systems while communicating with the local power grid and power sources over a network. Customers will use Yello Sparzhale online, which is a smart electricity metre, to receive information about their electricity consumption in real time.

A home management system will then allow customers to set appliances to operate during off-peak periods, via the use of smart plugs.

Acciona sells stake in Chinese wind turbine plant after disagreements

Spanish engineering firm Acciona has sold its 45 per cent stake in a Chinese wind turbine plant, due to disagreements over the future direction of the facility.

A five per cent stake was acquired by Acciona’s existing partner in the manufacturing venture, China Energine Industry, which raised its holding in the operation to 50 per cent. The rest of Acciona’s stake was acquired by Hong-Kong based engineering company Chook Bo Group, which took a 40 per cent holding.

Mitsubishi concludes CCGT plant service agreements

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has signed five long-term service agreements for gas turbine combined-cycle power plants in Egypt, Turkey, Australia and Argentina.

Under these agreements, MHI will provide supply, maintenance and repair services for components exposed to very high temperatures, as well as expendable parts and will also dispatch engineers to the sites.

In Egypt, the Sidi Krir and El Atf power stations will have capacity to generate 750 MW of electricity. The agreements were concluded with West Delta Energy Productions Company and Middle Delta Electricity Production Company.

Mitsubishi has also signed a six-year agreement with Enerjis Enerji, a Turkish electricity provider building a 920 MW plant in Bandirma.

The long-term service agreements concluded for the Tamar Valley Power Station in Tasmania, Australia follows Mitsubishi’s order receipt for a gas turbine combined-cycle power generation plant from Alinta Energy.

In Argentina, MHI has renewed a service agreement for ten years for the Costanera power plant near Buenos Aires.

International Power acquires PowerGen

International Power announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire, AIM PowerGen Corporation from Renewable Energy Generation Limited, for an enterprise value of C$189m ($183m), with a total cash consideration of C$119m.

AIM PowerGen Corporation, one of Canada’s biggest wind farm developers, has 40 MW of wind farms in operation and a further 40 MW under construction. This is due online in the first half of 2010, and is expected to cost C$52m. The company also has an advanced development pipeline of 1200 MW across Canada.

The acquisition, subject to shareholder approval, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Lockheed Martin collaborates with Ocean Power

Ocean Power Technologies and Lockheed Martin have signed a commercial engineering services agreement to develop the former’s wave systems in future utility-scale power generation projects.

Lockheed Martin will provide its expertise in systems integration, lean manufacturing and test and optimization analysis to advance Ocean Power Technologies PowerBuoy wave power generation technology to utility-scale. The companies also hope to pursue future projects in North America.

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Gas turbine repairs: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will establish a joint venture in Thailand for repairing gas turbines. The unit is to be capitalized at 600m baht ($18m). A group of Thai companies, including a national government owned power company, will take a 55 per cent stake.

Central Asia sale: Kazakhstan-based Kazakhmys reached a deal for the sale of a 25 per cent stake in its 2250 MW Ekibastuz GRES1 power plat to the National Welfare Fund Smaruk-Kazyna JSC for $339m.

Name change: Ireland’s Airtricity’s renewable generation division is to be renamed SSE Renewables, to take effect from January 1 2010.

Selling back: Denmark’s Green Wind Energy has sold its Gortahile wind farm development in Ireland to German wind power firm ABO Wind, the company it originally bought the project from. The wind farm has been sold for DKK49.2m ($10m) – the same price it paid in July 2008.

Wind project: France’s Theolia has divested a wind project with a capacity of 9.2 MW to Boralex, a Canada-based power utility.

Asset swap: E.ON has agreed to an extensive swap of generation capacities with EDF and EnBW. As a result E.ON is receiving power from 800 MW of nuclear power capacity in France from EnBW. It will also acquire EDF’s and Charbonnage de France’s 35 per cent stake in SNET.

DSM Energy acquisition: Abu Dhabi-based TAQA Energy has completed its €285m ($426m) acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital of DSM Energie Holding, from Netherlands-based company Royal DSM.

Korean division: American Superconductor has formed AMSC Korea to serve North Korea’s rapidly growing wind energy and power grid market. The new division, which will be headquartered in Busan.

Strategic alliance: LS Cable and American Superconductor Corporation have formed a strategic alliance to advance commercial sales of superconductor cables.

Common standards: Siemens and Landis+Gyr have agreed to cooperate on a partnership in order to elaborate on common smart grid standards.

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