Arlington, Virginia [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The AES Corporation is expanding its wind generation business in the U.S. to 1,000 megawatts (MW) through the acquisition of two wind farm projects totaling 186 MW from GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of General Electric.
“The global market for wind generation is expected to more than triple in size by 2015, and we see tremendous opportunities in wind,” said Ned Hall, AES President, Renewable Generation. “Through these acquisitions, AES will establish a strong presence in a region where demand for wind power is projected to continue to increase during the next few years.” The two wind farms are Lake Benton I, a 106.5-MW wind farm in southwestern Minnesota, and Storm Lake II, a 79.5-MW wind farm in northwestern Iowa.
The upper Midwest region of the US is a promising area for wind projects. Both Iowa and Minnesota have set aggressive growth targets for renewable energy and require that utilities source a portion of their electricity from renewable resources, such as wind. Several neighboring states also have similar renewable energy requirements for purchases, part of which may be met through the purchase of out-of-state production.
“Wind will continue to be an important component of our overall Alternative Energy business,” said William Luraschi, AES Executive Vice President and President, Alternative Energy. “With our proven expertise in wind projects and established presence in diverse global markets, AES is well positioned to participate in future wind opportunities not only in the U.S., but also on a global basis.” AES’s Alternative Energy business includes activities in wind generation, LNG, greenhouse gas emissions offset projects and other technologies.
In addition to the projects in Minnesota and Iowa, AES also finalized an agreement to purchase an additional 4.25 MW of wind generation assets in Tehachapi, California from a California-based wind farm owner. While AES wind development projects are primarily in the U.S. and Europe, AES has plans to expand its wind business to China, India, Pakistan and Central and South America.