Aug. 11. 2006
Marubeni today announced that it has purchased distributed generation facilities which provide energy services to end users at commercial buildings and industrial plants, and a biomass renewable energy power plant, from a US private equity fund and DG Energy Solutions, LLC (a US energy project developer). The facilities are located in California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Oregon. The equivalent electric generating capacity of these facilities is approx. 45 megawatts (MW).
The acquired facilities include a power, steam, and chilled water supply facility for a large shopping mall (Kings Plaza Project), a district chilled water supply facility (Portland District Cooling Project), a co-generation facility for a Japanese chemical company, and chilled water and central plant facilities for a university and movie studio (Kingston Project), and a biomass power plant providing renewable energy to a large California electric utility (Fairhaven Project).
Marubeni is the first Japanese company to enter this type of energy supply business with distributed generation facilities, and it is aiming to expand the business in North America to more than 100 MW within less than three years. Marubeni plans to increase its renewable energy portfolio from its current 900 MW, among its total power generation assets of 8,000 MW. Marubeni believes its experience and expertise in global power business enables it to achieve the target expansion.
Since the last California energy crisis, the US power sector is facing serious problem of tight capacity reserve margin, particularly in the West Coast and Northeast area. This, together with the escalating crude oil and natural gas market prices, make energy efficiency and conservation the most important agenda of the energy policy for states in these regions. An energy supply business based on distributed generation facilities can contribute to energy efficiency and conservation through supplying energy to end users in an efficient manner, matching actual consumption patterns and avoiding transmission losses.
Renewable energy contributes to lower fossil fuel dependency and facilitates US energy independence. Renewable Energy is also important to help alleviate global warming and to promote sustainable economic growth.
Marubeni has established the New Technology & Renewable Energy Department, aiming to explore and pursue energy efficiency and renewable energy business opportunities worldwide. It recognizes this present acquisition as an important opportunity to expand its business in the US and eventually in Japan and China as targeted regional markets. In the US, Marubeni plans to promote energy service to Japanese manufacturers having its facilities in the US.