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AES Wind Generation, a subsidiary of AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) announced today that it has acquired Your Energy Ltd (YEL), a United Kingdom (U.K.) based wind developer, and also has signed an agreement to acquire a 51% stake in a wind portfolio from 3E, a Polish wind developer.
Together the investments will add more than 700 megawatts (MW) to AES Wind Generation’s European pipeline and will require $400 million of AES equity over five years. Of that amount, $120 million of AES equity will be invested in order to bring 200 MW into construction by the end of 2011.
These developments take place as AES Wind Generation announced it has brought three of its projects into commercial operation throughout Europe during the first quarter of 2010, including the 35-MW St. Patrick project in France, the 22-MW North Rhins project in Scotland, and the 156-MW St. Nikola at Kavarna project, Bulgaria.
“In line with our strategy to focus on high-growth renewable energy markets in Europe, these transactions expand AES Wind Generation’s portfolio within the U.K. and into Poland. With more than 200 MW in advanced-stage development, these investments will begin contributing to our growth in 2012 and beyond,” stated Paul Hanrahan, President and CEO of AES.
Under the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive, both the U.K. and Poland must meet 15% of their gross energy consumption through renewables by 2020, and wind installations are expected to play a significant role in meeting this requirement. The U.K. is expected to bring an additional 20 gigawatts (GW) of wind operating capacity on-line by 2020 to meet its European renewable target, while Poland is forecast to increase its wind operating capacity by 6 GW, according to Emerging Energy Research’s Europe Wind Energy Market Forecast Update for 4Q09.
The acquisition of YEL includes a development pipeline of more than 300 MW. Of that amount, AES Wind Generation plans to begin construction on 48 MW by the end of 2010. The YEL acquisition effectively doubles AES Wind Generation’s development portfolio.
The agreement with 3E marks AES Wind Generation’s entry into the Polish wind market. According to the agreement, AES Wind Generation would acquire a 51% stake in 422 MW of 3E’s development pipeline. AES Wind Generation expects to begin construction on approximately 34 MW in 2010 and 120 MW in 2011.
AES Wind Generation has approximately 1,700 MW of wind capacity in operation globally, and expects to bring an additional 99 MW on-line in China through the end of 2010. Earlier this year AES Wind Generation brought the 101 MW Armenia Mountain project on-line in Pennsylvania, US. The current development pipeline includes approximately 6,000 MW of projects across Asia, Europe and North America.