Japan’s largest power generation group is moving into renewable energy in a big way, agreeing to a deal to buy Belgium’s biggest player in offshore wind.
JERA, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) and Chubu Electric Power, on March 22 said it has a definitive agreement with Belgium’s Virya Energy to acquire wind energy developer Parkwind for about $1.7 billion. The deal includes four offshore wind projects with total generation capacity of 771 MW, along with a new wind farm being built in Germany (Figure 1).
The Belgian projects feature 201 turbines across the four sites. Parkwind also has 1.1 GW of wind energy projects in development elsewhere, including in Germany and Ireland.
Paul Tummers, CEO of Virya Energy, said, “I am very enthusiastic about our announcement today. As we communicated last summer, Virya had initiated an assessment of possible strategic development options for our offshore wind energy activities, operated through our subsidiary Parkwind, to ensure that it would have the best possible conditions to execute its ambitious growth plan in a rapidly changing industry. After conducting a competitive sale process over several months, Virya has signed an agreement with the candidate we believe is the best positioned to provide an exciting new home for the business, its partners, and employees.”
JERA previously had invested in offshore wind projects in the UK and Taiwan, building a portfolio of about 2.2 GW of renewable energy assets as of year-end 2022.
“We want to gain Parkwind’s know-how and knowledge of offshore wind power projects in Europe that can be utilized in JERA’s existing wind farms and new projects mainly in Asia,” Ken Matsuda, who leads JERA’s overseas offshore wind power business group, told a news conference on Wednesday. Matsuda said JERA wants to increase its renewable energy portfolio to at least 5 GW by March 2026, through both new projects and acquisitions.
Nathalie Oosterlinck, an executive in JERA’s offshore wind division, said, “Parkwind is a highly attractive investment opportunity and we have been impressed by the company’s strong in-house project development, project delivery and operational capabilities, management track record over the years, as well as the quality of its asset portfolio, development pipeline and joint venture partners. Parkwind is highly complementary with JERA’s offshore wind strategy and ambitions, and we look to empower Parkwind to deliver on our vision and strategy. JERA has the ambition to significantly advance the expansion of renewable and low carbon energy on a global scale.”
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).