Conergy’s Epuron unit is teaming up with GE Energy Financial Services on the trust, which will invest in wind, solar, small hydro, biogas and biomass power generation. Called the Renewable Energy Trust Asia, the companies said they expect to build a portfolio of about 200 megawatts within the next five years.
GE is one of the biggest manufacturers of wind turbines in the world and a player in pretty much every other cleantech sector as well. Conergy makes photovoltaic solar modules and other solar components; it also offers installation and monitoring services. Its Epuron subsidiary develops renewable energy projects including large-scale photovoltaic solar, solar thermal, and biomass plants.
Last week, Conergy announced a contract to develop Saudi Arabia’s first large-scale solar power plant, a 2-MW facility for the country’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Earlier this year, GE Energy Financial Services said its investments in renewable energy passed the $4 billion-mark with an investment of $100 million into three New York wind farms.
With this new trust, Conergy and GE are aiming at what they estimate is a renewable energy market in India, the ASEAN countries and South Korea worth some $7 billion a year. ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
GE Energy Financial Services will hold the lion’s share of the new trust, with an 80 percent stake, and act as the trust’s anchor investor. Epuron, with a 20 percent stake, will handle project development, debt financing, acquisition of hardware, and supervision of the construction of renewable energy projects. Epuron will also manage the projects once they’ve been completed.
The companies said they expect to make their first investment through the trust within a year. They added that once a sufficient investment volume is achieved, they may seek a listing for the Renewable Energy Trust Asia on the Singapore Exchange.
This could be the beginning of a long collaboration between the two companies. Conergy and GE said the trust serves as a potential model for developing commercial-scale renewable energy projects in other regions as well.