January 2 (Renewables Now) - Japanese power producer JERA Co Inc has agreed to buy stakes in two offshore wind farms -- the Formosa 1, which is Taiwan's first commercial-scale plant of this type, and the 172.8-MW Gunfleet Sands in UK waters.
The Japanese company, which is a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power (TYO:9501) and Chubu Electric Power (TYO: 9502), said on Friday it has struck a deal to acquire a combined 32.5% stake in the 128-MW Formosa 1 wind project off Taiwan from two of its developers -- Macquarie Capital Group Ltd and Swancor Renewable Energy Co Ltd.
The sellers will continue as shareholders but their exact stakes were not disclosed. Denmark’s Ørsted A/S (CPH:ORSTED) has a 35% interest in the project.
Formosa 1 Phase 1, an 8-MW plant off northwestern Taiwan, has been generating power for over 18 months now, while the 120-MW Phase 2 is being constructed and is slated to begin operations in late 2019. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE) will supply 20 units of its SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines for the project that has won a 20-year power purchase agreement under Taiwan’s feed-in-tariff (FiT) scheme.
JERA’s participation in the scheme is subject to regulatory clearance.
Separately, the Japanese firm announced it has agreed to buy a 24.95% stake from compatriot Marubeni Corp (TYO:8002) in the 172.8-MW Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm off the Essex coast in the UK. Consisting of 48 fixed-bottom turbines, the complex has been operational since 2010.
Through the investment, JERA will join Gunfleet Sands’ owners Ørsted, the Development Bank of Japan and Marubeni. This will provide it with experience of the offshore wind business and allow it to move forward with projects in Japan and abroad.
The Formosa 1 and the Gunfleet Sands mark JERA’s first involvement in the offshore wind sector. Following the investment, the company will set up operation bases in Taiwan and the UK, it said in the statement.