AWS Truepower was hired to act as independent engineer to support the financing and construction of the Ventika I & Ventika II wind projects in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The Ventika Wind Project consists of two 126-MW wind projects, for a total capacity of 252 MW, making it the largest wind project in Mexico at the time of financing. The total investment for the projects is $650 million, secured by co-developers CEMEX and Fisterra Energy.
Electric executives open up on what they’re planning next.
Delivering value in a zero-growth market.
Disruptive technologies and resource shifts are changing the utility business model. Market factors are driving companies toward four possible paths.
Distribution utilities could become an important source of renewable funding.
Distribution utilities are well positioned to provide tax equity for renewable projects, but some state laws prevent it. Tapping the potential will require progressive leadership by utility executives and regulators.
A challenging year brings a change in the rankings.
Recent years have seen fundamental changes in the supply and competitive landscape of the North American natural gas market. In response to high natural gas prices that prevailed during most of the last decade, gas producers in the lower 48 now have developed new sources of supply and technology, particularly to access new shale gas formations. These new supplies have encouraged a substantial expansion of the natural gas pipeline network in North America to allow the producers to reach end-use markets.
A fearful economy cries for industry leadership.
Many utilities have trimmed their capital spending in the face of economic weakness and regulatory uncertainty. At the same time, strong energy sales have boosted cash flow and profits. Backed by regulated returns and clear resource plans, the industry should step up infrastructure investments. Are we ready to lead America out of economic malaise?
Rational estimates lead to reasonable valuations.
When regulators grant changes to utility rates of return, they estimate growth on the basis of gross domestic product (GDP). But do utilities have any chance of growing at the same pace as GDP? The answer is no — with huge consequences for utilities and their consumers. With equity costs outpacing allowed rates of return, utilities aren’t being valued correctly. As a result, the industry risks falling behind other sectors in terms of infrastructure investments and technology innovation.
Models are evolving for utility-scale solar development.
During the next few years, the biggest growth in the solar energy market will happen in the form of utility-scale projects, mostly driven by state renewable portfolio mandates. But financing such projects has become more difficult, with a smaller pool of equity capital and an evolving set of regulatory requirements.