German power giants to build UK offshore wind farm 

RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke München, and Siemens Energy have entered into a joint venture to build a large-scale offshore wind farm called Gwynt y Môr in the UK.

RWE Innogy will hold a 60 per cent stake, Stadtwerke München 30 per cent and Siemens 10 per cent. The total investment amounts to more than €2bn ($2.5bn), including the grid connection to mainland.

The investment will be divided between the partners accordingly.

Gwynt y Môr is to be built with an installed capacity of 576 MW in Liverpool Bay, around 18 km off the north Welsh coast. Work will start towards the end of 2011 to erect the first foundations for a total of 160 wind turbines. All permits for the wind farm covering an area of 79 km2 have been obtained

Siemens will supply, install and maintain the wind turbines, and provide the connection to the grid.

The wind farm is planned to generate electricity as early as 2013, and be completed by 2014. It is forecast to generate around 1950 GWh of electricity annually, enough to supply around 400 000 households in Britain.

The site is in a highly favourable location that is characterized by comparatively shallow water and the all-important high wind speeds. 

SSE walks away fromtaking majority stake in EDF UK networks assets 

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has decided to withdraw its interest in the purchase a majority stake in the UK electricity distribution networks owned by Frances EDF Energy Networks.

SSE had previously said that it needed to complete a £750m ($1.1m) rights issue to complete the purchase, and that it felt the £4bn price tag was too high given the state of the assets on offer.

However, SSE has said that it would continue to be involved in the current sale process being run by EDF. The outcome of which could potentially result in SSE taking a smaller stake in the networks. 

Alstom enters solar market, building its renewables expertise 

Alstom has announced a partnership with BrightSource Energy Incorporated of the US, which sees the OEM enter the high-growth solar energy market. The partnership will also complement its strong portfolio in renewables.

As part of a $150m equity raising initiative, the $55m investment positions Alstom as one of the main stake holders in the privately-owned solar thermal specialist, which has operations in USA, Israel and Australia. 

MHI & Iberdrola Ingenieria strengthen nuclear link-up 

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited (MHI) of Japan and Spanish engineering company Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion, SAU have agreed to collaborate on the bidding process for the construction of potential nuclear power generation plants in some European countries.

The two companies had already signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on an exclusive basis for the qualification process for a European utility.

Through this initiative MHI aims to accelerate market penetration of its 1700 MW class EU-APWR, one of the world’s largest advanced pressurized water reactors.

MHI will be responsible for overall engineering and major components and equipment, while Iberdrola Ingenieria will take charge of installation work, design, procurement and commissioning.

Currently in Europe, a trend towards growing nuclear generating capacity through new nuclear build is emerging, the so-called ‘nuclear renaissance’. If this trend continues several dozen new nuclear power plants are expected to be built by 2030. 

Banks Vie To Win Enel Green Power IPO Mandate 

A host of major Italian and international banks are jockeying for position in the race to win the mandate for what is set to be Europe’s largest initial public offering (IPO) this year.

With an expected fund raising of at least €3bn ($3.7bn), and a market capitalization of €10bn or more, the deal would be the largest of its kind in Europe since Spanish rival Iberdrola SA raised €4.1bn from the floatation of its renewables business, Iberdrola Renovales SA in December 2007.

Bankers are said to be optimistic of attracting investment because of Enel Green Power’s significant growth in earnings potential.

SunEdison receives equity from First Reserve 

SunEdison, the solar energy development division of MEMC Electronic Materials Incorporated, has announced an agreement with First Reserve Corporation, a private equity investor, to establish a joint venture that could provide an investment of up to $1.5bn in current, and future photovoltaic energy projects.

There is an initial equity commitment of $167m, with the fund expected to be scaled up to over the two-year agreement, with plans to develop projects in the USA, Italy, Spain and Canada. 

••• 

Areva Wind: Areva has purchased the remaining 49 per cent stake in German wind turbine manufacturer Multibrid1, which is to become Areva Wind. The rebranded company will also incorporate the rotor blade manufacturing division formerly known as PN Rotor.

Thermal coating: Alstom Power has acquired the business facilities of US thermal spray coating specialists, Amstar Surface Technology and Amstar International. The acquisition will strengthen Alstom’s service offering with advanced technologies to improve power plant component life.

Belgian deal: EDF is to raise its stake in Belgium’s second largest energy supplier, SPE-Luminus from 51 per cent to 63.5 per cent, with the €215m ($266m) purchase of shares from three other shareholders.

Vertical take-off: Small vertical axis wind turbine manufacturer, Helix Wind Corporation is in negotiations with VENCO Power GmbH of Germany to license its wind turbine technology. Helix hopes this will enable it to offer low-wind speed vertical turbines, complementing its own high wind speed offerings.

Investment opportunities: Itochu and the GE Energy Financial Services unit, have entered into a collaboration and cooperation agreement to identify joint investment opportunities in renewable energy worldwide.

Re-named: Swiss engineering company Von Roll Inova has a new name – AE&E Inova. The announcement follows the successful integration of the thermal waste treatment specialist into the AE&E Group.

Cooperation: In an extension to the existing partnership between Wärtsilä and ABB Turbo Systems in the development of 2-stage turbocharged, medium speed diesel engines, Swiss based after treatment specialist, Hug Engineering is to join the agreement as a third partner.

Nuclear supply chain: Toshiba is to invest $100m in USEC, one of the world’s largest producers of enriched uranium. The move highlights how a handful of companies that can build a nuclear reactor are scrambling to ease bottlenecks and control the complex nuclear supply chain. 

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