THE FRIDAY NOTE: RWE ditches 1.2-GW wind scheme off UK and the rest of the week's top picks
Nov 29, 2013 - This week, RWE abandons a 1.2-GW offshore wind project in the UK, EDF confirms bid in 1-GW offshore wind tender in France and IFC backs 117-MW Jordani wind project, while the EU unveils duties of 17.1% to 42% on PV glass from China.
On Monday, RWE Innogy, the renewables unit of German RWE AG (ETR:RWE), said it would drop the 1.2-GW Atlantic Array wind project in the Bristol Channel. “Overcoming the technical challenges within The Bristol Channel Zone would be uneconomic for RWE at this time,” said Paul Cowling, head of offshore wind at RWE Innogy. The firm’s request to terminate the deal for the zone has been accepted by the Crown Estate.
EDF CONFIRMS BID IN FRANCE’S 2ND OFFSHORE WIND TENDER
Remaining on the offshore wind wave, but a bit to the south, EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) on Friday confirmed it had submitted a bid in France's second offshore wind power tender for 1 GW of capacity. The renewable energy unit of EDF (EPA:EDF) will team up with German WPD Offshore and, if selected, will use a 6-MW turbine by Alstom (EPA:ALO). The bid submission deadline expires today with selection due to be made over the first quarter of 2014.
There is only one rival team formed by French gas utility GDF Suez (EPA:GSZ) and Portugal's EDP Renewables (ELI:EDPR).
ALGONQUIN TO GET 100% IN 400 MW OF US WIND FARMS, LINCOLN KICKS OFF 300-MW PROJECT
Some developments emerged within the US onshore wind energy segment this week as well. On Thursday, Canadian firm Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp (TSE:AQN) said it would buy for USD 117 million (EUR 86m) Gamesa’s (MCE:GAM) 40% stake in their joint 400-MW wind farm portfolio. Since 2012, Algonquin has served as the manager as well as majority owner of the 200-MW Minonk, 150-MW Senate and the 50-MW Sandy Ridge wind parks in Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania, respectively. The firm says the acquisition will bring additional low risk earnings and cash flow.
On Monday, US company Lincoln Renewable Energy said it had started construction of the 300-MW Hereford 2 wind park in the state of Texas. The 200-MW Hereford 1 is now owned by EDF EN.
ADB BACKS 100-MW UZBEK SOLAR PROJECT, IFC HELPS FINANCE 117-MW JORDANI WIND FARM
November’s last days also brought good news from emerging renewable energy markets. Last Friday, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it would extend a USD-110-million loan to Uzbekistan for a 100-MW solar project in the eastern part of the country. The solar park, to be completed in March 2019, will also be supported by USD 200 million more from Uzbekistan’s Fund for Reconstruction and Development and state-owned Uzbekenergo -- the project owner.
On Wednesday, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said it had partnered with other lenders to arrange financing for the 117-MW Tafila wind project in southern Jordan. The project is being developed by EP Global Energy of Cyprus, Abu Dhabi's renewables developer Masdar and Euro-Mediterranean fund InfraMed. The debt package that is to finance the wind farm includes USD 69 million from the IFC and USD 79 million raised from other lenders as well as funds from the Eksport Kredit Fonden, the European Investment Bank, Netherlands Development Finance Co (FMO), the OPEC Fund for International Development and Europe Arab Bank.
EU LEVIES DUTIES OF UP TO 42% ON CHINA-MADE SOLAR GLASS
The European Union (EU) on Wednesday imposed provisional duties on solar glass coming from China, effective November 28. The tariffs, ranging from 17.1% to 42.1%, were introduced as a measure against unfair competition, aimed at protecting European solar glass producers from Chinese rivals selling the product at below-market prices. The levies will be in force for six months and could be extended for five years. The EU’s 28 member countries are expected to take a final decision on the levies by May 27.