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Pattern Energy acquires first Japanese projects

JAPAN: US developer Pattern Energy has entered Japan's energy market by acquiring 167MW of wind projects jointly owned by one of its investment funds and a Japanese subsidiary.

Pattern Energy has a portfolio of 25 wind and solar power facilities, including six projects it has agreed to acquire, with a total owned interest of 2,942 MW
Pattern Energy has a portfolio of 25 wind and solar power facilities, including six projects it has agreed to acquire, with a total owned interest of 2,942 MW

Pattern has also agreed to acquire 39MW of solar PV projects as part of the same agreement — bringing the total capacity of acquisitions to 206MW.

The wind projects are the 33MW Ohorayama and 12MW Otsuki sites in Kochi prefecture on Japan’s southerly Shikoku island, and the 122MW Tsugaru wind farm being built in Aomori prefecture on the country’s main island of Honshu.

They were all owned by one Pattern’s development funds, Pattern Development 1.0, and Green Power Investments (GPI), a Japanese renewable developer in which Pattern holds a majority stake.

The Ohorayama site will comprise 11 of GE’s 3MW turbines and is due online in March 2018.

Otsuki, meanwhile, was commissioned in 2006, and features 12 of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' (MHI’s) 1MW turbines.

The two Kochi sites (Ohorayama and Otsuki) were bought alongside two operational solar projects also on Honshu, for an approximate combined cash purchase price of $131.5 million.

Tsugaru, which will consist of 38 of GE’s 3.2MW turbines, was bought in a separate, second deal, for approximately $194 million, Pattern stated. It is due to enter commercial operations in 2020, the US developer added.

All funding required for the transactions will be provided from available liquidity, Pattern stated. Acquisition and funding of these projects is expected to close in March 2018, the developer added.

GPI takeover

The US company will also invest $27 million in its Pattern Development 2.0 fund to buy a controlling interest in GPI from Pattern Development 1.0.

GPI has a 2.4GW development pipeline, including 600MW of wind projects that have qualified for feed-in tariff contracts, Pattern stated.

Pattern Development 1.0 acquired a majority stake in GPI in January 2015.

Pattern Energy CEO, Mike Garland, said: "These investments represent Pattern Energy’s entry into the exciting Japanese renewables market. Japan is one of the largest electrical grids in the world, and has one of the most robust renewable energy markets.

"We believe that as we grow our portfolio, we will be able to enhance our economics over time with the use of local, low-cost capital."

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