Infigen Energy announced that it has agreed to sell its portfolio of German wind energy assets with an installed capacity of 128.7 MW to a European based renewable energy fund for an enterprise value of EUR154.6 million.
The wind-farm developer is awaiting German regulatory approval that may take 30 days, Infigen said today in a statement. The company said it plans to use the proceeds to cut debt and will provide details on the sale of the assets, which have a capacity of 128.7 MW, when the deal is completed.
Infigen’s Managing Director, Miles George, said “The sale of our German assets will achieve a fair value for security holders and will represent an important step in improving our capital structure.”
The renewable-energy developer, whose shares have dropped almost 60 percent in Sydney in the past 12 months, won’t pay dividends in the years ending in June 2012 and June 2013 to help fund expansion in Australia, Infigen said in a separate statement yesterday. Investors are still worried about the company’s strategy in the US.
Infigen Energy announced that financial close has occurred under the Woodlawn Wind Farm project finance facility and that electricity has been successfully exported to the grid as part of the wind farm’s pre- commissioning testing procedures. On 23 December 2010 Infigen advised that it had signed a project finance facility agreement with Westpac Banking Corporation for the 48.3 MW Woodlawn Wind Farm. All conditions precedent under the loan documentation have now been satisfied and first draw down under the facility has occurred. The facility limit at financial close is $55 million.
Infigen achieved a milestone last week by successfully exporting electricity generated from the first of the 23 Suzlon 2.1 MW wind turbines to the grid. The commissioning phase for the wind farm will continue into the second half of the year.
Alstom the world’s third-largest power-equipment maker, will build and service three wind farms in northeast Brazil for Brasventos SA. The 200 million contract is its biggest sale of wind equipment in Brazil, Levallois-Perret, France-based. It will produce the turbines at its factory in Bahia state.
Repower, said agreements with lenders will continue to hold after a planned takeover by its debt-strapped parent. A proposal by Suzlon, to buy out Repower’s minority stockholders won’t affect covenants covering the German unit’s 600 million euros in debt and a letter of credit.
Suzlon’s plan to buy the remaining 4.8 percent stake in Repower prompted questions from investors about the impact on financing arrangements and lending costs. Ahmedabad-based Suzlon resumes principal repayments next year on 100 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) of refinanced loans taken in part to buy a stake in the German firm.
Repower has a higher cash ratio, a measure of a company’s ability to pay off short-term debt with cash on hand, than most of its competitors. Suzlon will get access to Repower’s 275 million euros in cash to help manage its debt, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) said in an April 4 note.
Repower will also start making turbines in India for the first time and is increasingly buying components from cheaper Asian suppliers, which will help trim costs and increase its competitiveness. By the end of the financial year, the company could manufacture as much as 50 units of the 2MW MM turbines at a Suzlon plant in southwest Mangalore city. The machines that they will produce will go to the U.S. market and, in the next step, may potentially go to Australia.
Greentech Energy Systems, the Danish renewable power developer, agreed to buy a wind park in Spain from Gamesa. Greentech will pay about 45 million euros for the 15-turbine project in Tarragona.
Google agreed to put $280 million in a new project financing fund for SolarCity Inc., a financier, installer and owner of rooftop photovoltaic systems, in the Internet search engine’s biggest clean-energy investment.
As an alternative to tax credits, the program reimburses investors for 30 percent of project expenditures for solar. The program was created after the 2008 financial crisis to revive spending on clean energy. Projects must begin construction by the end of 2011 to be eligible.
SolarCity will use the funds as the equity component in project financing. The company finances solar-energy systems through an arrangement known as a power-purchase agreement or solar lease, in which it owns the solar panels. Customers pay nothing upfront and buy the generated electricity at a fixed monthly rate that’s lower than a typical utility bill.
Abengoa, the world’s largest developer of solar thermal plants plans to build Mexico’s first solar-thermal power plant as part of a gas-fueled combined cycle project in the northern state of Sonora. Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) technology combines the benefits of solar energy with the benefits of a combined cycle. The solar resource partially substitutes the fossil fuel.
The Spanish group will build a 12-megawatt solar field using parabolic trough technology in Agua Prieta which will be integrated with a 464MW combined cycle gas power plant. for the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission, it said last week. The plant is expected to start operating in 22 months.
Abengoa commissioned two plants of the same type in Morocco and Algeria last year and Solar Millennium AG (S2M) opened a 20-megawatt facility near a 130-megawatt gas project in December.
Q-Cells, the German solar-cell manufacturer that’s fallen 56 percent in Frankfurt trading over the past year, is open to a takeover bid, Chief Executive Officer Nedim Cen said. Q-Cells is among a group of European and U.S. solar-gear makers that have faced increased competition from Chinese competitors including JA Solar Holdings Co. and Suntech Power Holdings Co., the world’s largest makers of cells that are used in photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into power.
General Electric to supply its new turbine designed to integrate gas and renewable generation was chosen by Turkey’s MetCap Energy Investments for their integrated solar-natural gas plant. The 530MW Karaman site in Turkey will use technology from closely held eSolar Inc., wind and the “FlexEfficiency” gas turbine GE announced. The combination will be able to operate at a fuel- efficiency rate of more than 70 percent, greater than the rate of 61 percent for the combined-cycle turbine alone, GE said. It also makes solar more cost-efficient.
GE plans to purchase a minority stake in esolar. The investment would give GE an exclusive license to sell eSolar’s solar thermal technology, which it plans to combine with its energy-efficient gas turbines
Wind Farm Senate Committee Report
A senate committee report into the social and economic impact of wind farms to be released today is expected to call for greater restrictions on where they can be built. The inquiry, established last October by the independent senator Steve Fielding, attracted 900 submissions - most of which support rural wind farms and renewable energy in general.
But about a third of the public submissions say wind turbines have adverse health effects on people living nearby, and point to ”wind turbine syndrome”, under which some people report having headaches and nausea as a result of the sound of spinning turbine blades.
A report by the National Health and Medical Research Council last year found there was ”no published scientific evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects”. Other government studies have reached the same conclusion, but the studies were attacked during a senate hearing in March for relying on government and industry data.
The Senate inquiry also addressed questions about the effect on property values, job opportunities and farm income. While some advertisements for properties with turbines are now including the revenue as a selling point, many of the submissions say that turbines ruin an area’s character and drive away tourists.
Of the 900 submissions received, about 54 per cent support wind farms, 39 per cent were negative and 7 per cent were confidential or neutral.
There are 54 wind farms in Australia with a total of 1092 turbines. Many more are planned and being assessed by state planning bodies.