First Wind Optimistic, Expects to Expand Thanks to the PTC Extension
The late announcement of the PTC extension has already caused a significant decline in 2013 for the wind sector. However, one wind developer has high hopes for 2013. First Wind, which already operates 980 megawatts (MW) of wind projects in six states, says it expects to add up to 50% to its portfolio in 2013, thanks to the PTC extension. The company is optimistic because some of their projects are already in its advanced stages and PTC’s eventual extension provided “enough certainty” for the company to move forward with those near-ready projects to final permitting and design stages.
Greece Approves Second Renewable Energy Tax Hike in Five Months
Greece has approved higher renewable-power taxes for consumers, backing a second increase in five months to boost funds at market operator Lagie SA. The levy will recompense Lagie for guaranteeing fixed power prices to clean-energy producers. Customers will now pay 9.53 euros a megawatt-hour under the tax changes, up from the 8.74-euro charge applied on Aug. 1. The difference between the feed-in tariffs and the prices charged to consumers has resulted in a deficit of about 280 million euros. The Energy Ministry is aiming to erase that gap by the end of 2014.
Grid Delays Causes Risks to Scotland’s Offshore Renewable Projects
Scotland’s proposed offshore tidal, wave and wind power plants face risks from delays in building links to transfer electricity between the nation’s islands and the mainland, according to renewable energy developers. More than two-thirds of wave and tidal energy developments are dependent on the new links to deliver electricity from Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles to the Scottish mainland. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission said that links to the Orkney and Shetland Islands won’t be come into fruition until 2018 because of challenges including planning approval, land acquisition and delivery of subsea cables.
Saudi Arabia Moves to Expand Solar Development, Invests in Utility ACWA Power
Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund Sanabil and the nation’s pension agency acquired 19 percent of ACWA Power International, a company that invests in power and water projects in the region. Riyadh-based ACWA issued 89.5 million new shares to Sanabil and the Saudi Public Pension Agency, each of which will have a seat on ACWA’s board of directors. The transaction will give Sanabil and the pension agency stakes of 13.7 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively. Founded in 2008, ACWA has a power generation capacity of 13,000 megawatts and produces 2.37 million cubic meters a day of desalinated water. It operates five power plants in Saudi Arabia, and was qualified to tender for projects in countries including Kuwait, Egypt and Turkey.