AES Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire SeaWest Holdings for $60 million, a move that positions AES as one of the top developers and operators of wind farms in the US.
AES has also announced plans to acquire and construct SeaWest’s 120 megawatt (MW) Buffalo Gap wind generation project near Abilene, Texas, at an estimated cost of $165 million. AES plans to begin construction in early 2005 and the facility is expected to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2005.
SeaWest is a privately owned wind generation operating and development company based in San Diego, California. The company operates over 500 MW of wind facilities in California, Wyoming and Oregon and has 1,800 MW of development sites in ten states in the western United States.
Upon closing, AES will have wind projects operating or in development in 13 states, including California which has the largest installed base of wind projects in the US.
“This acquisition, combined with AES’s expertise in building and operating generation facilities, puts AES in a competitive position to meet the world’s growing demand for renewable power generated by wind,” said AES President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Hanrahan.
According to AES, global demand for wind generation is expected to grow by more than 15% a year, from 46,000 MW in 2004 to 112,000 MW by 2010. In 2005 alone, the US is expecting to see new construction of over 2,000 MW of wind generation as the result of new state requirements for power companies to include renewable sources of energy, such as wind, in their portfolios. Eighteen states in the US have passed, or have pending, legislation on renewable portfolio standards.