Renewable Energy Systems May Buy Shares in Offshore Wind Parks

Renewable Energy Systems Ltd., a U.K. clean-power developer, may buy stakes in offshore wind projects as European governments seek to attract investment into the industry to curb carbon emissions and secure supply.

“Our participation in investment in offshore projects in the future is an interesting area strategically that we’ll look to get into,” Chris Morgan, chief executive officer of the company’s RES Offshore unit, said in an interview in London.

European countries are seeking to boost offshore wind even as they struggle to finance power-generating turbines, which cost about 3 million pounds ($4.7 million) a megawatt to build. The U.K. plans to lure pension and insurance money, after Danish and Dutch retirement funds took stakes in wind parks.

RES Offshore offers development, engineering, construction and project management services for wind farms at sea, as well as project operations and maintenance, Morgan said. “In due course we’d very much like to be an investor in projects,” he said, with the company taking minority stakes in ventures.

The RES unit has won the rights to develop a 500-megawatt offshore wind park off the coast of Brittany with Iberdrola SA and its other developments include working with U.K. utility Centrica Plc on a 4.2 gigawatt project in the Irish Sea.

The industry has potential beyond the balance sheets of utilities and will need other investors, Morgan said. The U.K. plans 18 gigawatts of capacity by 2020 and Germany 10 gigawatts. France began a 6-gigawatt program rolled out in the next decade.

RES, based in Hertfordshire, England, is also interested in developing offshore wind in the U.S., which currently hasn’t any turbines at sea, Morgan said. The company has delivered more than 6.5 gigawatts of wind power in the U.K., Ireland, France and Scandinavia and owns 750 megawatts of onshore generation.

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