JERA agrees equity stake with Macquarie for Formosa windfarm

/ Japanese energy company JERA has agreed to buy a 49% equity interest in the Formosa 2 offshore windfarm in Taiwan from Australian financial group Macquarie for an undisclosed fee. JERA was supported by the Development Bank of Japan for the transaction.

Macquarie will continue to own a 26% stake in the windfarm, with Taiwanese company Swancor taking the remaining 25%.

JERA also owns a 32.5% equity stake in Formosa 1 offshore windfarm, with Macquarie also owning a 25% stake.

Macquarie’s share price fell on the Australian stock exchange from A$126.58 to A$125.41 following the news, giving it a current market cap of A$44.5bn.

Formosa 1 and 2 are two offshore windfarms that are part of Taiwan’s efforts to install 5.7GW of offshore wind by 2025.

Formosa 1 is formed of 22 turbines provided by Danish renewable energy company Ørsted. It has a capacity of 128MW and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019. JERA and Macquarie own a 57.5% stake in Formosa 1, with Ørsted owning 32.5% and Swancor owning 7.5%.

Formosa 2 has a capacity of 376MW which is formed of 47 turbines provided by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. It will come online in 2021 and it already has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) in place with the Taiwan Power Company at a price of $186 per megawatt hour (MWh).

The Macquarie Group has a strong presence in the renewable energy space through its Green Investment Group.

As well as owning stakes in the Formosa offshore windfarms, Macquarie purchased a 40% stake in the East Anglia ONE windfarm for £1.6bn in August 2019.

Macquarie is also involved in the Asian Renewable Energy Hub project to develop 11GW of wind and solar projects in Australia.

JERA is a diversified energy company with assets in upstream oil, liquid natural gas and thermal power stations. It has a power generation capacity of 67GW in Japan and 9GW in the rest of the world, and has assets worth a total of JPY3.8bn ($354m).


Northern Gas & Power unveils new technology at annual conference

/ UK-based energy procurement company Northern Gas & Power (NGP) held its annual conference on 4 October 2019, revealing a number of energy management technologies for businesses and consumers.

NGP, a part of the Global Procurement Group (GPG), reported significant financial growth, reaching revenues of £29m in 2018 and expecting to reach £44m by the end of 2019. NGP also reported expansions to its operations, increasing its staff from 75 people in 2016 and 2017 to 228 in 2018, with 550 people employed at NGP in 2019.

NGP UK sales director Andrew Laird described the company as “the most successful procurement company to have ever existed,” citing a focus on technological developments as a motivating factor behind NGP’s financial success.

NGP global operations director Leah Barrett unveiled technologies developed by GPG’s “tech arm”, Malta-based CLearVUE Systems and India-based Energy Lab.

The headline innovations were ClearVUE’s Alpha.Lite and Alpha.PRO cloud-based monitoring and targeting systems, aimed at helping businesses monitor and manage energy usage. These energy management systems are also expected to reduce energy waste, reducing carbon emissions in service of the UK’s net-zero emissions targets for 2050.

Alpha.Lite is the UK’s first “entry-level” power analysis platform and the first power analysis software of its kind according to Barrett, while Alpha.PRO provides live streaming of energy data to one-second granularity. Both systems will be available in beta in the next few weeks, and are expected to be ready by the fourth quarter of 2019.

GPG CEO and NGP founder Fokhrul Islam said: “From talking to our customers, we understand there’s a real demand for change. But the utilities sector needs not only a change of attitude; it also needs a change of technology.

“There is the opportunity to totally transform how businesses use and manage energy, as we move towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy. People want change – businesses tell us they want to become more eco-friendly, but technology has limited their ability. We know there is a real demand for change in people’s behaviours and we need to drive that through technology.”

The company also launched two energy price comparison sites currently in beta, Business Energy Quotes and Energie SuperMarché, targeting markets in the UK and France respectively. These sites were developed to alleviate the frustration of energy price comparison, allowing consumers to generate a “comprehensive range” of competitive tariffs and energy contracts with “minimal customer input.”


Reden and Natixis complete financing of solar PV plants in Chile

/ Reden Investments Chile has secured $96.4m in debt from French corporate and investment bank Natixis for an up-to-100MW solar PV plants portfolio (Reden Chile Solar PMGD portfolio) in Chile.

It is the second PMGD loan arranged by Natixis, and also first of its kind for the bank to close the transaction in the international project finance market. The financing will be used by the company to fund the development of solar PV projects in the country.

Additionally, the financial structure will allow Reden to add additional solar PV PMGD projects to the portfolio, subject to meeting defined eligibility criteria.

The Reden Solar PMGD Portfolio will comprise assets operating under Chile’s special regime for distributed generation projects.

For this transaction, Natixis served as the sole lead arranger, hedge provider, and

administrative agent in addition to underwriting for 100% of the transaction.

Through Reden Solar Chile, the company is strengthening its footprint in the Chilean electricity market. Its portfolio in Latin American region currently includes 60MW in Mexico and 50MW in Puerto Rico.

In September 2018, Reden Solar raised €100.5m ($116m) for the refinancing of its Portuguese and Spanish solar photovoltaics (PV) assets.

Established in 2008 in the Lot-et-Garonne region in France, Reden Solar strengthened its operations within the region after Eurazeo acquired a 39% stake in the company between 2010 and 2012.

The 14-year non-recourse financing was arranged by the Spanish financial institution Natixis Sucursal en España.

Reden Solar focuses on the development, construction and operation of photovoltaic solar plants in France and internationally.


GE to install wind turbines at 182MW Ventos da Bahia windfarm

/ GE Renewable Energy has secured a contract from EDF Renewables in Brazil to install its wind turbines at the 182MW Ventos da Bahia windfarm in Brazil.

GE will produce and install 25 of its Cypress platform wind turbines that will operate at 5.3MW at the windfarm, which is located near the cities of Bonito and Mulungu do Morro.

GE Renewable Energy Americas Onshore Wind CEO Vikas Anand said: “GE is delighted to work with EDF Renewables on this exciting project.

“GE remains deeply committed to Brazil’s energy future and we are proud to introduce our Cypress turbine to the region’s installed base, enabling additional renewable, sustainable energy access for consumers.”

GE also tweeted: “We are pleased to announce our first Cypress deal in Brazil supplying EDF Renewables with 25 Cypress 5.3MW onshore wind turbines for the Bahia windfarm, as well as 20 years of O&M services.”

Upon completion of the turbine installation at the Ventos da Bahia wind farm, EDF’s renewable energy generation capacity will be increased by 132.5MW.

GE will produce the Cypress units at its facility in Camaçari, while the blades will be produced by its business unit LM Wind Power located in the Port of Suape in Brazil.

Additionally, the company has agreed to provide operation and maintenance services for 20 years for all the equipment delivered by the company. The deal is the first between GE and EDF Renewables in Brazil.

In September 2019 GE secured a contract to supply 33 of its 5.3MW Cypress wind turbines for the 175MW Björkvattnet windfarm in Sweden.

Located north of Stockholm, Björkvattnet was developed by Vindparken and WindSpace, with support from GE, and was later divested to French infrastructure investor InfraVia Capital Partners.

For this project, GE provided development, offtake solutions, equity syndication expertise as well as technical and commercial optimisation support through its GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS).


Total begins construction of Miyagi Osato solar plant in Japan

/ French energy company Total’s subsidiary Total Solar International has started the construction of its third solar power plant, Miyagi Osato Solar Park in the Miyagi prefecture of Japan.

Total Renewables senior vice-president Julien Puget said: “The Miyagi Osato Solar Park is Total’s third and biggest solar plant in Japan, which will allow us to reach a cumulated capacity of over 100MW in the country.

“This project is in line with Total’s commitment to develop renewable production capacities worldwide and in particular in the Japanese market, where we actively pursue our development.”

The 52MW solar project has already achieved financial close and is expected to generate clean energy and supply to Japanese homes when it becomes operational in 2021. Once completed, the facility will be operated by the special purpose company Miyagi Osato Solar Park.

Total Solar International owns a 90% stake in Miyagi Osato Solar Park, while the remaining 10% stake is held by SB Energy, a Japanese subsidiary of SoftBank Group.

The solar plant will be equipped with 116,000 SunPower Maxeon solar panels and has been designed to meet Japan’s stringent earthquake-resistant building standards.

Construction works for the Miyagi Osato Solar Park have been initiated following the start of Total Solar International’s two large-scale solar plants including Miyako Solar Park and Nanao Power Plant.

The company tweeted: “Total about to build its 3rd and biggest solar power plant in Japan. It will provide clean electricity for around 15600 households while allowing us to exceed the threshold of 100MWp of cumulated capacity.”

Total also noted that: “With solar plants in Osato, Nanao and Miyako (Japan), Prieska (South Africa) and Salvador (Chile), developing solar energy is a key focus in our strategy to attain our ambition in becoming the responsible energy major.”


20 UK universities to buy energy directly from windfarms

/ Twenty UK universities including Newcastle, Exeter, Aberystwyth and Anglia Ruskin have announced a clean energy purchase agreement worth £50m which will last for 10 years. The collaborative energy deal will supply electricity from onshore wind farms built across Scotland and Wales. The power purchase agreement (PPA) marks the first time public sector entities have collaborated to buy renewable energy directly from British windfarms.

The PPA was arranged by deal brokers at the collaborative energy specialist The Energy Consortium (TEC) and energy platform Squeaky Clean Energy to set a price of renewable electricity from British windfarms.  The universities will be guaranteed clean energy by the windfarm owner, Norwegian energy company Statkraft, which will issue certificates matching the output of the windfarms.

TEC managing director Richard Murphy said: “The combined challenge facing the wider public sector is to secure reduced carbon emissions whilst saving money and I am delighted that these universities have secured both.”

Murphy added that collaborative energy purchase deals are beneficial for small institutions as they are “able to navigate a previously inaccessible market” and the “groundbreaking deal” would help universities reduce their carbon emissions and save money.

Anglia Ruskin University chief operating officer James Rolfe said the university has joined others in declaring a climate emergency, and plans to be climate neutral by 2030.

“To support this commitment we aim to source all of our electricity from zero carbon sources by 2025, and this power purchase agreement makes a significant contribution towards this goal whilst delivering financial savings and budget stability,” Rolfe added.

The participation into the clean energy purchase agreement will help Anglia Ruskin University to follow its sustainable strategy and develop operations to meet the international standard for environmental management ISO 14001. It will also help to reinforce the university’s resilience against future environmental risks, such as climate change and resource scarcity.

Newcastle University head of sustainability Matt Dunlop said: “Entering into this PPA under TEC’s framework in collaboration with other universities reduces costs for all participants and provides a model for innovative approaches to energy procurement in the UK market.”

Statkraft is Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy and has operated in the UK since 2006. Statkraft UK owns and operates four onshore wind farms and one hydropower plant across Wales and Scotland. In 2018 the company increased its wind generated power to 2.7 TWh in comparison to 1.7 TWh in 2004 and it now opens up to further windfarm projects.


Powerlink initiates substation upgrade works to secure power supply

/ Powerlink has initiated upgrade works on a substation at Palmwoods to meet the growing electricity demand in Sunshine Coast, Australia.

As part of the works, the company will replace the substation’s ageing secondary systems equipment to secure power supply for the region.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said: “The Sunshine Coast has a number of major projects in the pipeline, including SunCentral CBD, the airport extension, health precinct development and new master-planned communities.

“The Palmwoods substation is a major injection point in Powerlink’s transmission network and supplies Mooloolaba, Nambour, Beerwah and Caboolture.

“This project will underpin the long-term safe, reliable and cost-effective performance of the transmission network in this rapidly-growing region.”

The upgrade works will be carried out with an investment of A$9.4m ($6.3m) and ensure reliable power transmission to the Sunshine Coast region.

Lynham further added that the investment will safeguard electricity supply on the Sunshine Coast for years to come.

As part of the upgrade, a new 28t building will be equipped with secondary systems that include control, protection and communications equipment, designed to prevent damage to physical plant in the substation such as transformers.

Currently, Powerlink is carrying out test at the control building at its Brisbane site.

Powerlink Interim chief executive Kevin Kehl said: “This project replaces the systems that allow us to manage our network, which are critical to monitoring and operating our assets.”

Construction works at the site are expected to begin in the coming weeks and will complete next year.

During the construction phase, the project is expected to create 23 employment opportunities in the region.


Bloom Energy to install solid oxide fuel cells at biogas plant

/ US-based Bloom Energy has partnered with India-based Energy Power to install an integrated zero-carbon solution at its biogas plant for supplying clean power to local businesses.

Under the partnership, EnergyPower will deploy a zero-carbon solution that will combine its new agricultural and municipal waste digester with solid oxide fuel cells for producing renewable power for customers in Shirala district, Maharashtra.

The project is expected to supply clean, reliable power to local Indian businesses once completed.

Energy Power chairman and managing director Shyam Vasantrao Raut said: “We are happy to bring Bloom Energy’s technology into our clean energy ecosystem at a time when India’s industrial sectors continue to grow.

“After demonstration, we plan to deploy the solution in the majority of the states in India.”

By the first half of next year, Bloom Energy intends to deploy and operate its 4MW energy servers at the Shirala plant.

The digesters have been designed to breakdown and clean biowaste to produce biomethane and will fuel the company servers.

These servers have been developed to make use of natural gas, biogas, or hydrogen as fuel, and produce power without combustion through an electrochemical process.

Bloom Energy founder, chairman and CEO KR Sridhar said: “India’s growing economy is in need of reliable renewable power now more than ever.

“This collaboration not only produces renewable energy from bio-waste but ensures it’s being used efficiently where needed.”

The company claims that the new project will have a significant impact on the environment as it has the potential to remove methane emissions, which are said to be 25 times more potent in the atmosphere than carbon emissions.