U.S. Energy Giant Acquires UK Wind Power Developer

The AES Corporation has acquired majority control of the Wind Energy Ltd. (WEL) group companies, a UK-based wind development company, with 640 megawatt (MW) of wind generation projects under development throughout Scotland. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Through this transaction, AES gains a portfolio of wind projects in a market that has huge potential for growth,” said Ned Hall, AES Vice President of Wind Generation. “The UK has one of the fastest growing and most attractive wind energy markets in Europe, where installed capacity is expected to increase fivefold over the next four years. In addition, Scotland enjoys some of the highest wind resources in the world, which allows for particularly efficient wind power generation.” AES has been in the wind generation business since 2004 and currently operates 600 MW of wind facilities. On April 17, 2006, the company announced plans to triple its investment in wind generation over the next three years, and currently is pursuing an additional 2,000 MW of wind projects in development, primarily in the United States. “This acquisition is the first expansion of AES’s wind energy business into Europe and represents a strategic step in our efforts to become a leader in wind generation development and operation worldwide,” said William Luraschi, AES Executive Vice President of Business Development. AES, one of the world’s largest global power companies with 2005 revenues of $11.1 billion, said it is currently evaluating wind power projects in continental Europe, China, India and Central and South America, with an emphasis on countries with existing AES businesses. It is based in Arlington, Virginia. “Growing our wind energy business is a key component of our expansion into alternative energy. With global installed wind generation capacity expected to more than double over the next five years, we see tremendous growth opportunities in wind and we will continue to seek expansion projects worldwide,” Luraschi added.

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