Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has acquired a United States solar generating plant to push into the world’s largest power market.
KEPCO announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cogentrix Solar Holdings in Alamosa County, Colorado, on August 26 (local time) to purchase a 100 percent stake in a 30-megawatt solar power plant from the U.S.-based group and maintain operations for 26 years. KEPCO President Cho Hwan-eik and Carlyle Group Chairman Dan D'Aniello attended the signing ceremony. Cogentrix Solar Holdings is an affiliate of Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. With the latest MOU, KEPCO and Carlyle Group will form a cooperative relationship to develop an independent power producer (IPP) business, renewable energy business, such as wind and solar power, and other types of new energy businesses, like energy storage system (ESS) and smart grid, in North America.
KEPCO and domestic private equity funds, including National Pension Service, plans to buy a 100 percent stake in the power plant in Alamosa with COPA Fund and start its commercial operation in October this year. KEPCO affiliates will be in charge of maintenance of the power plant. The Alamosa power plant has increased the power production efficiency up to 31 percent using concentrating modules that improve efficiency by collecting solar power with lenses. The generated power will be sold through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Colorado Power. KEPCO expects to have a turnover of US$230 million (263.9 billion won) for 26 years. In addition, it said it can increase exports by 15 billion won (US$13.46 million) by building additional panels at the power plant complex with domestic equipment and material.
The purchase is KEPCO's first entry in to the U.S. energy market though the company has operated overseas since 1995, starting in the Philippines. The company is now actively conducting thermal power, nuclear power, power transmission wires, new renewable energy and resource developments in 22 countries. KEPCO posted 4.9 trillion won (US$4.4 billion) in overseas business sales as of last year.