Madrid, Spain & Jenbach, Austria [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] GE Energy Financial Services and Grupo Corporativo Landon announced they will invest close to US $350 million in Fotowatio, one of Spain’s largest and most successful solar power project developers. Fotowatio owns, operates and is developing almost 960 megawatts (MW) of solar projects in Spain, Italy and the United States.
“By facilitating the growth of one of the solar industry’s leading developers, this investment gives us immediate access to attractive solar markets in Europe and the United States and will form an important part of GE’s broader strategy to become a major player in solar power,” said Alex Urquhart, president and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services. “GE has all the right ingredients to succeed in solar: capital, technology, research and ecomagination.”
GE Energy Financial Services will invest US $235 million in equity and convertible debt to acquire 32 percent and Grupo Corporativo Landon, a family-owned Spanish holding company, will invest US $118 million in equity to acquire 17.5 percent of a new holding company, Fotowatio SL. Existing investors in Fotowatio inlude investment fund Qualitas Venture Capital and Fotowatio’s management.
GE Energy also announced that Pakistan’s first renewable energy project using sugarcane-waste biogas created from the production of ethanol recently began supporting the national grid. The plant is powered by eight of GE Energy’s Jenbacher biogas engines.
The commercial start-up of sugarcane milling company Shakarganj Mills Ltd.’s new biogas power plant in Jhang, Pakistan comes as the country is working to overcome its current 3,500-MW energy shortage. The new plant will generate enough power to support more than 50,000 homes in Pakistan. The biogas used to fuel the Jenbacher gas engines is extracted from spent wash — a residual of Shakarganj Mills’ ethanol production operation that uses sugarcane molasses as a raw material.
“The project is Pakistan’s first sugarcane biogas power plant,” said Mohammad Asghar Qureshi, managing director and Kashif Raza Kazmi, general manager of Shakarganj Mills Ltd. “The plant is seen as a successful demonstration project for the region. With 225 million liters of ethyl alcohol produced annually in Pakistan, we expect many other distillery companies to install similar plants to support the energy needs of the national grid.”