At a joint press conference held today at 12 p.m. EDT, at the National Press Club of Washington, D.C., it was announced that Shenyang Power Group ("SPG"), the U.S. Renewable Energy Group ("US-REG") and Cielo Wind Power LP ("Cielo Wind"), signed a joint venture framework agreement ("JV Agreement") setting forth plans for developing the 600MW wind farm. The terms of the JV Agreement include the JV Project’s plans to sign a definitive purchase agreement with A-Power related to the purchase of up to 240 units of 2.5MW wind turbines. The JV Agreement includes a delivery schedule starting in March 2010, subject to SPG securing third-party financing, among other conditions. A-Power currently has an annual production capacity for 1.1GW of wind turbines at its 320,000-square-foot facilities in Shenyang. A-Power is a shareholder of SPG.
The JV Project, which when established will be 49% owned by SPG, with the rest of the equity ownership held by US-REG and Cielo Wind jointly, is expected to be one of the largest wind farms in the United States. Upon completion, it is anticipated to generate enough electricity for 180,000 homes in America. The JV Project is expected to cost in total approximately $1.5 billion, a portion of which is designated for wind turbine purchases, and its establishment is subject to, among other things, further due diligence by the parties, the securing of financing from commercial banks in China, and other project development conditions.
"A-Power welcomes the opportunity of participating in this high-profile wind power project in the United States," said Mr. Jinxiang Lu, Chairman and CEO of A-Power and CEO of SPG. "As both a supplier to the JV Project and an equity-owner of SPG, A-Power will be able to export its wind turbines for the first time and reduce its exposure to the intrinsic risks associated with such a large-scale project. We like the tremendous opportunities in the United States, which is the world’s largest wind power country. We are cognizant of the recent policy push by the Obama Administration in the renewable energy sector, and a stabilizing financing environment for renewable energy projects. And we are attracted to the track record of Cielo Wind, the largest privately held wind power project development company in the Southwest United States, with a 16% market share for wind power installation in Texas. In this JV Project, and the sales we expect to make to the joint venture, all of A-Power’s previous investments — in production scale, in foreign technology licenses, and in alliance with other power plant service companies — are expected to come to fruition, and we look forward to entering into a sales agreement with the JV Project and moving ahead with the production schedule as set forth in today’s JV Agreement."
A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd. ("A-Power"), through its China-based operating subsidiaries, is the largest provider of distributed power generation systems in China, focusing on energy-efficient and environmentally friendly projects of 25MW to 400MW. In 2008, A-Power entered the wind energy market and has built China’s largest wind turbine manufacturing facility, located in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, with technologies licensed from German FUHRLÄNDER AG and Denmark-based Norwin, and a total annual production capacity of 1,125MW. In March 2009, A-Power entered into an agreement to establish a Joint Venture partnership with GE Drivetrain Technologies to produce wind turbine gearboxes in Shenyang. A-Power also has strategic relationships with Tsinghua University in Beijing and the China Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou to develop and commercialize other renewable energy technologies.
The U.S. Renewable Energy Group (US-REG) and Cielo Wind Power LP today announced they have entered into a joint venture framework agreement (the "JV Agreement") with China`s Shenyang Power Group ("SPG") which sets forth plans to develop a 600 MW wind farm across approximately 36,000 acres in Texas. The agreement marks the first time China and U.S. entities agree to jointly develop a utility-scale wind power project. The project is estimated to have a total cost of approximately $1.5 billion and A-Power Energy Generation Systems, Ltd. (Nasdaq: APWR, or "A-Power"), a shareholder of SPG in China, is designated as the supplier of 240 units of the 2.5MW wind turbines manufactured at A-Power`s facilities in Shenyang, China. In total, the wind farm is expected to produce enough electricity for 180,000 homes and create hundreds of American jobs. It is also expected to be one of the largest wind farms in the U.S.
According to the JV Agreement, commercial banks in China are expected to finance the $1.5 billion required for the project through SPG. Subject to securing such financing, among other conditions in the JV Agreement, A-Power is expected to start shipping the wind turbines in March 2010.
SPG is a local power industry alliance based in Shenyang, China, and it was formed early this year under the leadership of A-Power, China`s leading provider of distributed power generation (DG) systems and a fast-growing manufacturer of wind turbines. SPG`s member companies range from power equipment makers to engineering service providers. The alliance was created to integrate local resources and leverage the manufacturing, engineering and government initiatives in the Shenyang area so that SPG can pursue large-scale, international projects in the alternative energy sector.
"The 600MW wind farm project, if completed according to plan, would demonstrate for the first time Chinese capital and manufacturing and engineering expertise exported to the United States – the world`s largest wind power country – and how the two countries can share both the risks and the benefits in a huge wind power project," said Vice Mayor Yang Yazhou, who oversees all environmental protection and economic growth and development of the city of Shenyang. "China and the U.S. of course share the common goal of bringing cost-effective and environmentally responsible renewable energy to millions of homes across the world, and the Chinese government is proud to be a positive force that spurs ground-breaking, broad-range and in-depth cooperations between the U.S. and China and any ensuing mutual benefits for our two great economies."
Jinxiang Lu, SPG`s CEO and A-Power`s Chairman and CEO, said, "SPG is committed to clean energy worldwide and since our inception in May 2009 we have been seeking large-scale power projects overseas and to be the first Chinese partner in a major alternative energy undertaking. We are extremely thrilled to sign this JV Agreement with the U.S. Renewable Energy Group and Cielo Wind Power and introduce financing, manufacturing and engineering capabilities of SPG and A-Power in wind power to the U.S. renewable energy market."
John Lin, A-Power`s COO, said, "We are honored to be designated as the wind turbine supplier for this high-profile project. A-Power`s wind turbines are a product of our large-scale manufacturing capacities, currently at 1.1 GW per year, technology and quality assurance from such eminent wind power equipment technology leaders in the world such as GE Drivetrain and Fuhrlander, components from various suppliers in Europe, and last but not least, low-cost but highly trainable and skillful Chinese labor. We believe all of the above give us a unique advantage in the fast-growing and highly competitive supply chain for wind turbine generators."
"Though some will describe this project as a large-scale, U.S.-China venture, it is in fact a cooperation, based on respect and friendship, between the best and brightest women and men from both countries working together for a new energy future, addressing the global climate crisis and creating new high-paying jobs on both sides of the Pacific," said Ed Cunningham, Managing Partner of US-REG.
Cielo is one of the most successful wind farm developers in the United States, accounting for over 1,100 megawatts of wind energy. Cielo is committed to developing, owning and operating the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible wind power facilities for the benefit of many load-serving entities throughout the southwestern United States. Texas is the American leader in wind energy with 8,797 megawatts of wind-generated electricity.
"A $1.5 billion, 600 megawatt renewable energy project will be one of the largest undertakings of its kind anywhere in the world," said Cielo CEO Walt Hornaday. "Cielo is excited to be part of this historic partnership that will not only generate clean, homegrown, renewable energy, but also create a robust economy with new jobs and revenue."
Earlier this year President Obama and the U.S. Congress created the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to promote innovation and investment in renewable energy. This legislation is clearing the way for increased capital formation and significant clean energy investment. By opening doors to global investment, America is positioning itself as the leader in developing innovative, renewable technologies and bringing clean energy to market.
US-REG`s mission is to integrate renewable and environmentally sound energy technologies into the American marketplace, while generating tremendous returns with a range of smart and strategic investments in clean energy. US-REG is devoted to strengthening America`s energy independence, environmental quality, and economic vitality through investments in utility-scale projects in wind, hydro, geothermal, solar, and bioenergy.