Australian developer to list in London -- Acquisition of 300 MW

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Australia's Novera Energy is proceeding with its ambition to expand its European wind power portfolio. The company is going ahead with a UK joint venture to develop up to 260 MW by 2007 and is in the throes of acquiring up to 56 MW of German wind power assets. Novera says it will also list on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market.

Novera is already active in the UK green energy market. Most recently it jointly developed the 14.5 MW Mynydd Clogau wind farm in Wales with Renewable Energy Systems (Windpower Monthly, February 2005). This project was sold, along with all the green energy assets of United Utilities, to Novera Macquarie Renewable Energy (NMRE), a 50:50 joint venture it established with Macquarie Bank in December 2004 to acquire and operate renewable energy assets.

Unveiling portfolio

Novera's latest UK joint venture is with Scotland's Renewable Energy Development (RED) Group in a deal first aired nearly a year ago to co-develop a portfolio of wind projects in Scotland and northern England. The portfolio could deliver more than 200 MW of new wind power capacity over the next three to four years, says Novera's Don Stammer. "The initial portfolio is comprised of nine sites offering the potential for projects of up to 40 MW, which fits perfectly with Novera's stated aim of developing smaller wind sites in Europe," he says.

Under the agreement, RED will secure further land options at prospective sites and deliver all planning and other approvals as well as grid connection agreements. Novera will control 100% of the equity ownership of the entire portfolio, including future projects RED identifies, while RED can earn royalties from completed projects once Novera has achieved its minimum investment returns.

In Germany, Novera has secured exclusive rights to acquire up to 56 MW of wind plant from Germania Windpark. It plans to fund the German purchase by issuing more than 17 million shares for placement with one existing and three new shareholders, at most. Novera estimates that for the German portfolio average revenues for each megawatt installed will exceed A$275,000 a year, offering an annual portfolio revenue potential exceeding A$15.4 million. Germania is a wind developer owned by the Tacke family, known in the wind business for the Tacke line of wind turbines before the business was bought by Enron Wind, subsequently acquired by GE Energy.

The German assets include 9 MW of operating capacity near Berlin and a further 47 MW either under construction or due for completion in the next eight months at four other sites across Germany. Germania will construct each project under a turn-key contract, also providing ongoing technical and management services along with GE, which is supplying all the turbines. Each asset purchase will be completed separately upon commissioning of the respective wind farms.

As with the Mynydd Clogau wind farm, Novera Energy plans to offer all of the projects under the latest UK and German deals to NMRE upon completion.

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