GE Energy Financial Services and Indian-based Greenko Group plc (AIM: GKO.L) have agreed to invest in a new venture to develop wind energy projects across India. The GE unit will invest US$50 million – its first renewable energy investment in India – to support the development of 500 megawatts of wind farm projects out of Greenko’s planned development of one gigawatt of wind power projects in India. Greenko has committed US$65 million for the venture, a newly created subsidiary of Greenko, known as Greenko Wind Project Private Limited.
“This investment expands GE’s presence in one of the world’s fastest growing power markets with a local, proven renewable energy developer,” said Raghuveer Kurada, managing director and leader of India at GE Energy Financial Services. “In addition to capital, GE Energy Financial Services brings deep wind and other renewable energy expertise gained by building a US$6 billion portfolio of renewable energy investments worldwide.”
Greenko is currently developing a pipeline of wind projects in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan, which the new venture, an Indian holding company and Greenko subsidiary specifically set up to develop wind projects, will own. The first project, the 65-megawatt Ratnagiri wind farm in Maharashtra, is planned for completion in December and will use GE’s 1.6-megawatt turbines. The wind turbines, specifically designed for low and medium wind speeds, will be assembled at GE’s facility in Pune, India. Once operational, a 500-megawatt wind portfolio could generate enough renewable electricity to power 875,000 average Indian households and displace 700,000 tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 137,000 average US cars off the road.
“Wind power is an increasingly important part of the Indian energy market, and through our partnership with GE, a global energy leader, we are well positioned to play an important role in helping to meet the country’s energy needs with clean power using advanced technology,” said Mr. Anil Kumar Chalamalasetty, CEO and Managing Director of Greenko.
Greenko estimates that with an average growth rate of 30 percent, wind energy is the fastest growing clean energy source in India. The company estimates that less than 25 percent of the country’s wind energy potential – estimated at 45,000 megawatts – has been harnessed to date. The Indian government has set a renewable energy target of 15 percent by 2020 and provided what Greenko believes is a strong and clear policy framework to support the continued expansion of renewable energy sources.
GE Energy Financial Services’ investment expands its global renewable energy portfolio and supports ecomagination, GE’s business strategy to create new value for customers by solving energy, efficiency and water challenges. GE’s presence in India dates back to 1902, when the company installed India’s first hydropower plant. The company has established a significant footprint across key locations in India with over 14,000 employees.
Formed in 2006, Greenko operates 183 megawatts of contracted energy capacity across India, including seven hydroelectric power, six biomass and one gas/liquid fuel-based plant and has 1,600 megawatts of projects under development, including 1,000 megawatts of wind projects. The company has 750 full-time employees, with offices in Hyderabad, New Delhi and Bangalore.
GE Energy Financial Services’ experts invest globally with a long-term view, backed by the best of GE’s technical know-how, financial strength and rigorous risk management, across the capital spectrum, in one of the world’s most capital intensive industries, energy. GE Energy Financial Services helps its customers and GE grow through new investments, strong partnerships and optimization of its approximately US$20 billion in assets. GE Energy Financial Services is based in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. For more information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.
Greenko is a mainstream participant in the growing Indian energy industry and a market leading owner and operator of clean energy projects in India. The Company is building a de-risked portfolio of wind, hydroelectric, natural gas and biomass assets within India and intends to increase the installed capacity it operates by winning concessions to develop new greenfield assets as well as making selective acquisitions which enhance shareholder value.
Greenko’s portfolio is carefully planned and managed to ensure it offers investors diversification geographically and spreads risks across a number of projects which utilise varied environmental technologies. The Company’s goal is to reach 1 GW of operational capacity by 2015. Current operational capacity is 182.6 MW, split between 104.3 MW of hydro, 41.5 MW of biomass and 36.8 MW of gas/liquid fuel. Greenko’s portfolio, which includes projects in the development pipeline, currently stands at 1.63 GW.
With a core belief in sustainability both operationally and environmentally, Greenko endeavours to be a responsible business playing an important role in the community beyond its role in the power generation industry. The Company maintains a continuous involvement in localised projects and community programmes which centre on education, health and wellbeing, environmental stewardship and improving rural infrastructure. Greenko Group plc was admitted to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKO) in November 2007.
GE Energy Financial Services and Greenko have agreed to invest in a new venture to develop 500 megawatts of wind energy projects across India including the 65-megawatt Ratnagiri wind farm under construction in Maharashtra, shown here, which will use GE’s 1.6-megawatt wind turbines.