Tokyo Electric Unit plans 50% expansion in wind, solar capacity
TOKYO: Eurus Energy Holdings Corp., a unit of Tokyo Electric Power Co., may invest as much as 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) to expand wind and solar energy generation by more than half and meet rising demand for cleaner power.
Japan's biggest wind farm operator plans to increase output from renewable energy projects by 1,000 megawatts from 1,950 megawatts in the U.S., Asia and Europe in five years, Tetsuro Nagata, president and chief executive officer, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday.
"In the coming few years, the U.S. will be the most attractive market" after President Barack Obama called for more investments in renewable energy, Nagata said. The company may invest in wind farms in states including Texas, Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma and Colorado that often experience strong winds, he said. Tokyo Electric plans to invest as much as 3.5 trillion yen in low-carbon energy, including wind, solar and nuclear generation, by 2020. Eurus Energy, which is 60 percent owned by Asia's biggest utility, will lead Tokyo Electric's development of wind and solar power projects.
New projects will be financed with 25 billion yen that Eurus Energy raised in February from Tepco and its other shareholder, Toyota Tsusho Corp., an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corp., Nagata said. The company will seek project finance for the remainder, he said.
"We may be able to borrow three to four times" the equity amount, depending on bank approvals, Nagata said.
The company, which is named after Eurus, the Greek god of the east wind, has 587 megawatts of capacity in the U.S., 726 megawatts in Europe and 636 megawatts in Asia, Nagata said. Solar power will account for about 10 percent of the increase in output while the rest will be generated from wind power, Nagata said.
Eurus Energy and NRG Solar, a unit of NRG Energy Inc., said in September they will operate a 45-megawatt solar power project in California. The project, which Eurus says will cost $220 million, is expected to start supplying power in June 2011. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. signed a 20-year contract to buy power from the development. -Bloomberg