Siemens Willing to Support Cape Wind as U.S. Postpones Backing

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, is willing to provide financing for the first U.S. offshore-wind farm even though the Energy Department has delayed support, the company’s chief financial officer said.

“We’ve always made it clear that we are not only willing but also capable of helping to support the whole project,” Josef Kaeser said in an interview in Washington today.

Siemens of Munich has offered to provide debt and equity financing for the proposed Cape Wind project, which would be located off the Massachusetts coast and cost about $2.6 billion. The U.S. Energy Department said last month it had put a loan-guarantee application for Cape Wind on hold to focus on other projects that could begin construction before a Sept. 30 deadline.

Cape Wind, which was opposed by the late Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and members of his family, would have a capacity of as much as 468 megawatts of electricity from wind turbines located about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Cape Cod. The project may be difficult to finance without government backing, Jerome Guillet, managing director of Green Giraffe Energy Bankers of Paris and a Cape Wind adviser, told Bloomberg Government this month.

“I don’t have any doubt” that Cape Wind will continue to move forward, Kaeser said.

“Sweet Spot”

Wind and natural gas are “sweet-spot” businesses for Siemens, Kaeser said. Duke Energy Corp. of Charlotte, North Carolina, said in March it would use 73 Siemens wind turbines for a wind farm in Kansas. Siemens announced last year that it was investing $135 million in a gas-turbine production plant in Charlotte.

The “most efficient contribution” to the U.S. energy infrastructure “would be in the gas-turbine and gas power-plant environment,” Kaeser said. He said he isn’t concerned about potential U.S. regulations associated with natural-gas drilling.

“The EPA and the government needs to do what it’s got to do,” Kaeser said. “We are not really concerned about it.”

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