GE Invests in $550 Million LS Power Solar Plant in Arizona

A General Electric Co. (GE) unit bought a $100 million stake in a 127-megawatt solar project that LS Power Group is developing in Arizona.

The $550 million Arlington Valley Solar Energy II project near Arlington, Arizona, is expected to be complete at the end of 2013 and will sell power to Sempra Energy (SRE)’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Stamford, Connecticut-based GE Energy Financial Services Inc. said today in a statement.

GE Energy Financial Services more than doubled its investment in solar energy in the past year to more than $1.4 billion. The company has backed projects in Australia, Canada, Italy, Portugal, the U.S. and Spain valued at almost $5 billion.

Solar projects offer returns that are comparable to GE’s other energy investments, said Kevin Walsh, managing director and leader of power and renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services. He expects to back more large-scale solar projects.

“Solar will continue to be a bigger part of the picture,” he said in an interview today.

Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU), Banco Santander SA (SAN), and other commercial banks and investors provided debt financing for Arlington Valley. Fluor Corp. (FLR) is building the project and will maintain and operate it.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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