AES expands wind capacity

The AES Corporation is expanding its wind generation business in the US through the acquisition of two wind farm projects totalling 186MW from GE Energy Financial Services. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. With the addition of these two wind farms, AES will have more than 1,000 MW of wind facilities in operation or under construction in the US.



The projects include Lake Benton I, a 106.5MW wind farm in southwestern Minnesota, and Storm Lake II, a 79.5MW wind farm in northwestern Iowa. With an installed generation capacity of 186MW, these two projects can support the energy needs of approximately 50,000 homes in the US.



‘The global market for wind generation is expected to more than triple in size by 2015, and we see tremendous opportunities in wind,’ said Ned Hall, AES President, Renewable Generation. ‘Through these acquisitions, AES will establish a strong presence in a region where demand for wind power is projected to continue to increase during the next few years.’



According to AES, the upper Midwest region of the US is a promising area for wind projects. Iowa and Minnesota have set aggressive growth targets for renewable energy and require that utilities source a portion of their electricity from renewable resources, such as wind. Several neighbouring states also have similar renewable energy requirements for purchases, part of which may be met through the purchase of out-of-state production



In addition to the projects in Minnesota and Iowa, AES has also finalised an agreement to purchase an additional 4.25MW of wind generation assets in Tehachapi, California from a California-based wind farm owner.