CEFC to finance Macarthur wind farm debt?
Reuters reports that one of the Clean Energy Finance Corp’s first investments could be to commit around $100 million to a refinancing of debt held by the joint owner of the 420MW Macarthur wind farm, that was recently opened and which is Australia’s largest. Controversy seems certain to follow the CEFC in every step. The decision, if true (the CEFC is not commenting) may disappoint those who would expect it to focus on bringing in new projects, and Reuters says the idea that funds could be repatriated to a NZ-government owned company that is preparing for an IPO is also being questioned. The CEFC has indicated it will invest in various areas to reduce the cost of investment in renewables and to facilitate bank finance, and will fund new projects along with more “vanilla” investments to reach its targets. The Coalition has voed to close the CEFC if elected in September.
Buffett eyes another solar bond
Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings is looking to conclude a $700 million bond offering this month to finance its $US2.74 billion Antelope Valley solar farm in Southern California, Bloomberg reports. It says this will be Buffett’s second utility-scale solar farm financed through a bond offering, as mainstream investors become more comfortable backing renewable-energy projects. Construction of the 579MW plant – using SunPower solar PV modules – is expected to be completed in 2015.
Largest solar thermal plant in Asia opened
The largest solar-thermal plant in Asia has begun operations after the opening of a 50MW plant in Rajasthan province by Godwari Power & Ispat Ltd. The plant opened a month behind schedule due to supply problems for materials, rising costs and dust storms. The Godawari plant was one of seven that won a tender for solar capacity after bidding to provide solar energy at $YS197/MWh – well below the global cost average, according to Bloomberg. Reliance Power is currently building a 100MW plant, but this has fallen 6 months behind schedule, Bloomberg reported. India plans to build 20,000MW of solar by 2020.
E.ON buys into Bloom Energy
The world’s largest investor-owned electricity utility, the German based E.ON, has invested $US100 million in fuel cell technology developer Bloom Energy, according to reports from the US. Greentech Media said Bloom now has total funding of more than $US1.1 billion, making it one of the largest ever VC fund raisers. Bloom builds fuel cells of the solid-oxide variety with natural gas as the fuel. The 200-kilowatt units are intended for commercial and industrial applications, and the firm boasts customers such as FedEX, Google, Coca-Cola, and Wal-Mart.
Goldman Sachs targets offshore wind
Investment bank Goldman Sachs, which is planning to spend some $US3.2 billion in renewable energy in Japan, is looking to offshore wind power, along with geothermal and biomass, to add to its planned investments in solar technology. Shigeru Yasu, director of Japan Renewable Energy Co, which was set up by Goldman, told Bloomberg the company is committed to 300MW of solar investments, but it also looking at large offshore wind projects.