Abu Dhabi renewables leader chooses wind energy for its first North American investment

This image shows the Chisholm View wind farm in Oklahoma. 

The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, also known as Masdar, has acquired stakes in two U.S. wind farms in what will be its first-ever foray into the North American market.

The company, a subsidiary of Emirati investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company, on Tuesday announced its share purchase agreement to buy British developer John Laing Group’s interest in wind farms in Texas and New Mexico. While the exact dollar value of the deal has not been disclosed, Masdar’s leadership described it as being “north of $100 million.”

The 149 megawatt (MW) Rocksprings project in Texas is home to 53 of General Electric’s 2.3MW wind turbines and 16 of its 1.72MW turbines in Val Verde County, while the Sterling project in New Mexico’s Lea County has a total installed capacity of 29.9MW provided by 13 of General Electric’s 2.3MW turbines.

Masdar Chief Executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi spoke to CNBC’s Dan Murphy about the move Tuesday while at Abu Dhabi’s Sustainability Week, calling the U.S. “a very important market not only for Masdar but the renewable energy world.” Last year’s conference by the same name saw $15 billion worth of deals announced.

Indeed, America saw a record 6.3 percent of its electricity generated from wind in 2017, and is home to “one of the largest and fastest-growing wind markets in the world,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The country installed over 7,000 MW of wind energy capacity in 2017, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council, putting it behind only China in terms of new installations.

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