Romania

Romania

Team sets sights on emerging markets

Continental Wind Partners, an American wind farm development company active in eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand, says its portfolio of projects now sits at around 3700 MW, following the sale of 600 MW in Romania to the Czech state utility. The portfolio includes a further 500 MW in Romania, 1000 MW in Poland, 400 MW in Croatia and 1800 MW in the works in Australia and New Zealand. This story is linked to the main article Huge project lifts off in Romania.

Continental Wind Partners (CWP), an American wind farm development company active in eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand, says its portfolio of projects now sits at around 3700 MW, following the sale of 600 MW in Romania to the Czech state utility (main story). The portfolio includes a further 500 MW in Romania, 1000 MW in Poland, 400 MW in Croatia and 1800 MW in the works in Australia and New Zealand, says CWP chief executive and founding partner Adam de Sola Pool. The Australian and New Zealand portfolio makes up about half the capacity of a 3600 MW pipeline in the two countries that CWP owns in a 50-50 joint venture with UK-based wind developer Wind Prospect.

Pool, an American, is one of four partners who set up CWP with their own funds in 2006 before opening up its capital to renewable energy investor Good Energies and others in early 2007. The other partners are fellow American Mark Crandall, CWP chairman, Australian Alex Hewitt and Monaco-based Fabrizio Cagnasso. The four make up an executive board that manages the company, which is now 21% owned by Swiss Good Energies.

Initially, CWP focused on projects in Romania and Poland, but has broadened its horizons since. "We are in the early stages in Bulgaria and Turkey and could look at Ukraine, the Baltics and all sorts of other places," Pool says.

An investment banker by trade, Pool set up the first environmental investment fund in central Europe in 1997. Crandall has extensive experience in energy, including establishing Morgan Stanley's energy business in the 1980s. He also leads a private equity firm, PostScriptum, which invests primarily in renewable energy. Hewitt is CWP's wind expert and has been talking with developers in central Europe and scouting out potential sites for the last several years. Cagnasso handles tax, compliance and legal issues.

"One of our hallmarks is that we are quite flexible and adaptable to local market conditions," says Pool. Some time down the road, CWP will be looking at fund raising again after the 2007 financing that brought investors such as Good Energies into the firm. "We will be raising more money," says Pool. "We haven't decided exactly how to do it or whether to do it for construction or operation. We have plenty of money for development, so that's not an issue."

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