ACWA Power launches new clean-energy division

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The new division wil be led by Chris Ehlers, currently chief operating officer, Renewables at ACWA Power. Image: ACWA Power

ACWA Power, a leading developer, investor, and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants, is ready to launch a new division that will compile its existing renewable-energy portfolio and serve as a platform to build on a growing market for renewable energy in emerging sectors.

According to UN Environment Programme (UNEP), US$266 billion was invested globally in renewable-power capacity in 2015 — more than double the estimated US$130 billion invested in new coal and gas generation capacity.

The new company – ACWA Power RewnewCo — will be led by Chris Ehlers, currently chief operating officer, Renewables at ACWA Power, who has been appointed chief executive officer.

Ehlers said: “We currently produce over 1GW of renewable power in markets which have an energy gap. All the power we generate was procured through transparent competitive bidding and is supplied on long-term offtake contracts to entities supported by stable, sovereign backed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), which offers significant risk mitigation and in turn has enabled us to deliver competitive tariffs providing stable, long-term revenues to ACWA Power RenewCo.

“The reputation we have established in renewable energy has enabled us to also secure a high quality and near term pipeline of opportunities using a diverse technology mix spanning solar PV and CSP to wind. Given our commitment to RE and the ambition of the region in which we are focused, I see enormous potential to increase our renewables portfolio.”

ACWA Power president and chief executive officer Paddy Padmanathan added: “There are compelling reasons today for the growth potential in renewables in ACWA Power’s target markets. With rapid advances in technology and efficiency in manufacturing and construction driving down capital cost, with the quality of RE resources available and the low interest rate environment, RE is the most competitive solution for the segment of energy we consume when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing even when compared to the alternative where fossil fuel is subsidized.”

“Furthermore we are proud to be showcasing the extra value offered by large-scale RE deployment through developing local content in both goods and services leading to much needed employment creation and investment in local communities at the location of RE plants which are often the least developed due to the remoteness of location.”

ACWA Power currently has a footprint in 11 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey, Southern Africa and South East Asia regions. 

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