[The Vector] Renewable Energy – Keeping up with GE

General Electric (GE) is speeding ahead on a number of renewable energy fronts.  This includes continuing to build its wind turbine division, a new smart meter project, planning to build the largest solar plant in the U.S., keeping its successful Eco-Imagination project going and increasing clean energy investment and financing through its financial services division, among other things.

In fact, the Financial Services division is growing rather dramatically and has strongly committed to renewable energy. To date, it has invested in wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal power assets with a portfolio over $6B. About 30% of the division’s portfolio is in renewable energy today, while in 2006 only 6% of the portfolio could be categorized as such.

GE Financial Services has been providing structured project finance using debt and equity, as well as construction loans, lease financing, funding for late-stage project development efforts, and venture capital for promising businesses.

Financing sources can be difficult for newer technologies and renewable energy projects in the face of the vagaries of Congress and changing policies, no true energy plan, a poor economy and troubled capital markets.  GE looks to be making the commitment. An example of some recent transactions is found on its website, including: 

Company NameProductRegionAmount
Alsleben Wind FarmProject EquityEuropeUndisclosed
Babcock & BrownProject EquityNorth America$270,000,000
ComvergeDebtNorth America$40,000,000
Fenton WindProject EquityNorth America$385,000,000
Forest Creek WindProject EquityNorth America$120,000,000
Krusemark Wind FarmProject EquityEuropeUndisclosed
Kumeyaay WindProject EquityNorth America$51,000,000
Noble Environmental PowerProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
REpower Systems and Denker & WulfProject EquityEuropeEUR 135,500,000
Serpa Solar PlantProject EquityEurope$75,000,000
Tawhiri WindDebt and Private EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
TheoliaAssets-for-Equity SwapEuropeUndisclosed
Airtricity Champion WindProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Plutonic HydroDebt and Project EquityNorth America$660,000,000
SunPower PortfolioProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Scholl Canyon Landfill GasProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Stanton WindProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Enel Snyder and Smoky Hills WindProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Forward WindProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Hackberry WindProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Horizon Wind PortfolioProject EquityNorth America$300,000,000
Invenergy Wind PortfolioProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
Noble Environmental Power IIProject EquityNorth America$100,000,000
FotowatioDebt and Project EquityEurope$235,000,000
Tatanka Wind FarmProject EquityNorth America$141,000,000
Dokie Wind ProjectProject EquityNorth AmericaC$52,500,000
Blue Canyon VProject EquityNorth America$117,000,000
Vento IIIProject EquityNorth America$111,000,000
Shepherds FlatProject EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed
CPV Keenan IIProject EquityNorth America$65,000,000
Alta Wind IPrivate EquityNorth AmericaUndisclosed



Wind power

GE is the largest U.S. wind turbine manufacturer but not the largest globally.  It continues to forge ahead in this area. Just this week in June 2011, GE signed a contract to install 40 of its 2.5MW wind turbines at four wind farms in Sweden. “The performance of our 2.5MW series of wind turbines has been proven in applications across Europe,” said GE general manager for Renewable Energy, Stephan Ritter. (WindPower Monthly. June 16, 2011.) In fact, more than 400 of it’s 2.5 MW series (onshore) turbines can be found in France, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Poland and Turkey. Last year, GE penned a deal for its 4 MW offshore turbines across Scandinavia in partnership with Statoil, Lyse and Gothenburg Energy.

GE broke into the Australian market this month as well. It won a contract for the 55MW Mumbida wind farm in Western Australia, which includes a 10 year maintenance contract. GE will install 22 of the 2.5MW turbines at that project, developed by the state utility.

… to be continued

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