The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has announced the execution of a share purchase agreement (SPA) to acquire John Laing Group plc’s interest in two wind farms in the United States, marking the first time the Abu Dhabi-based company has invested in renewable energy projects in North America.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Masdar will acquire John Laing’s interest in the Rocksprings wind farm in Texas and the Sterling wind farm in New Mexico.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019 as it is subject to the standard government and financing partner consents process.
Following the transaction, Masdar will own interest in a partnership with French renewable power producer Akuo Energy, with whom Masdar already has an ongoing partnership – the 72 megawatt (MW) Krnovo Wind Farm, Montenegro’s first wind energy project.
The 149MW Rocksprings project was commissioned in 2017 and comprises 53 of General Electric’s (GE) 2.3MW wind turbines and 16 of its 1.72MW turbines at a site in Val Verde County, taking advantage of the exceptional wind conditions characteristic of the Texas region.
Commenting on the announcement, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said, “Extending our reach into the United States is a defining moment for Masdar’s clean energy operations and a further step forward in our efforts to expand the company’s global renewable energy portfolio, which now encompasses more than 25 countries.”
“The United States provides excellent commercial potential in the long-term, with a record 6.3 per cent of the country’s electricity generated from wind in 2017. We aim to increase our investments in the US in the next few years as we continue to strengthen our current partnerships and explore new business opportunities.”
The Sterling project in Lea County, New Mexico has a total installed capacity of 29.9MW provided by 13 GE 2.3MW turbines and was also commissioned in 2017.
Olivier Brousse, John Laing’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased to have partnered with Akuo on Rocksprings and Sterling wind projects. This investment realisation with Masdar will release capital to recycle into new greenfield opportunities in the US and internationally where we remain committed to our strategy investing in renewable energy and other infrastructure.”
Eric Scotto, CEO and co-founder of Akuo Energy, said, “After partnering with Masdar in Montenegro, we are thrilled to team up once again and in particular in the US which is a key market for our development activities. This new partnership illustrates the strength of the relationship between Masdar and Akuo across diverse geographies.”