JAPANESE BIGGIE WANTS U.S. WIND
With Shepherds Flat Signed, Sumitomo Eyes Additional Investment
Mark Del Franco, 27 April 2011 (North American Windpower)
"…Masao Miyamoto, vice president and head of the…power and telecom business of [New York-based Sumitomo Corp. of America (SCOA), the U.S. subsidiary of the Tokyo conglomerate, recently] suggested that [the company’s investment in] Shepherds Flat [which is slated to be the world's largest wind farm after it is completed] was merely a beginning point for the company's North American wind investment…[and said they want to own ‘about 500 MW’ of North American wind by 2014]….
"SCOA agreed to become a joint owner in the 845 MW Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, currently being constructed in Oregon. SCOA, along with Google and ITOCHU, joined GE Energy Financial Services and Caithness Energy by investing about $500 million in the project…Shepherds Flat marks Sumitomo’s second investment in the U.S. wind space. In 2009, it acquired a 42.5% interest in the Stanton Wind project, a 120 MW wind farm in Texas. Sumitomo also owns and operates two wind farms in Japan and a 50 MW project in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China."
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"Miyamoto says Sumitomo considers the renewable energy business one of its main business areas and has extensive experience developing, operating and owning power-generating facilities, such as wind, biomass and solar, around the world. Sumitomo… owns 30 MW of solar power in Spain, France and Italy…[and] has acted as a primary engineering, procurement and construction contractor for more than 50 GW of power plants worldwide, of which most are owned by government-owned utility companies.
"Although Sumitomo has not yet managed a construction project for wind in the U.S…it has developed and constructed two Japan-based wind farms and could offer assistance to Caithness Energy on Shepherds Flat if needed."
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"While the company would not provide specifics on where or when it would make its next investment, Cannon says Sumitomo will continue to focus on the U.S., investing in wind projects with long-term off-take agreements in place… Canada is also of interest….[because of] Ontario's [feed-in tariff (FIT)]…
"Ironically, the nuclear disaster in Japan might provide additional opportunity for the company to invest in renewable energy…[because the] Japanese government is reconsidering its policy on renewables…[and] a FIT in Japan could help increase renewable energy in its energy mix…"