Japan Energy Giant Launches UK-Headquartered Renewable Energy Group

The largest electric power company in Japan announced the spinoff of a new global renewable energy business, and said the venture would be headquartered in London in the UK.

JERA, founded in 2015 as a 50-50 joint venture between TEPCO Fuel & Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Co., and Chubu Electric Power, on April 15 said its JERA Nex business has a goal to deploy at least 20 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2035. The company it would develop, invest in, own and operate a variety of renewable energy assets, including solar power, battery energy storage, and onshore and offshore wind.

JERA officials in a news release said, “By combining the resilience of JERA, one of the world’s largest electricity producers, with the agility and focus of a dedicated renewables business, JERA Nex will be a renewable energy company that can achieve scale at the pace required to substantialize JERA’s commitment to decarbonization.”

Global Portfolio

The Tokyo-based company in 2020 announced its “JERA Zero CO2 Emissions 2050″ program, and has since been developing a global portfolio of renewable energy projects. JERA last year acquired Parkwind, Belgium’s largest offshore wind project developer, which increased JERA’s total installed renewable energy generation capacity to 3 GW.

Parkwind, along with IKEA parent Ingka, is part of a consortium that last month won the first Norwegian auction to develop a 1.5-GW offshore wind farm in the southern Norwegian North Sea. JERA late last year, in the second round of Japan’s offshore wind tenders, was awarded the rights to develop a 315-MW wind farm as part of a consortium with Electric Power Development and Tohoku Electric Power.

JERA on Monday said most of its currently operating assets, and the company’s 10-GW development pipeline of renewable energy projects, will now be overseen by JERA Nex. The company will be led by Nathalie Oosterlinck, who becomes CEO of the new venture after previously leading JERA’s global renewable energy business.

‘Acquisition Opportunities’

The company said it will look at “selective acquisition opportunities and establish partnership opportunities” to build its portfolio, adding that its “strategy will be adaptive to prevailing economic conditions, and the company will target high-quality projects and apply strict investment criteria as it works towards its ambition.”

Officials said the UK was chosen as JERA Nex’s headquarters because of that country’s “expertise in financing and developing renewables projects, as well as [to] draw on its significant talent pool to develop capabilities in core markets and expand its pipeline globally.” JERA noted that the UK is “the world’s second largest offshore wind market and a global leader in renewables development.”

Yukio Kani, global CEO and chair of JERA, said, “We have outlined a vision to reach zero emissions by 2050, and the birth of JERA Nex plays a critical role in our strategic pillars for delivering that ambition. JERA Nex will enable us to draw upon expertise from across the world to develop renewable projects, forge partnerships, and build assets that contribute to a future of decarbonized energy with sustainability, affordability, and stability.”

Oosterlinck said, “With the launch of JERA Nex, we are bringing together passionate renewable energy people from across the world. Our teams have already delivered pioneering offshore wind farms, from the Taiwan Strait to the Belgian North Sea, as well as leading several onshore projects across the world, making JERA Nex well placed to deliver clean energy for a sustainable future.”

Oosterlinck said the new company also will look to develop floating offshore wind projects, noting those designs are well-suited to island nations such as Japan and the UK.

JERA Nex also will have what the company calls “centers of excellence” in Japan, the U.S., Belgium, and Taiwan. The company said it will employ a team of more than 300 global renewable and energy industry experts.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

SHARE this article