EDP Says U.S. Is Its Preferred Market as It Adds Wind Projects

  • Former Portuguese monopoly invests 1.4 billion euros a year
  • EDP also has projects in Brazil with China Three Gorges

EDP-Energias de Portugal SA considers the U.S. its favorite market as the Portuguese utility develops more wind energy projects from New York to California.

“The U.S. is today the best market, with sound economics,” Chief Executive Officer Antonio Mexia said on Tuesday in a Bloomberg Television interview with Vonnie Quinn in New York. “It’s our preferred market. Today wind can be very competitive, including in the U.S.”

The former Portuguese power monopoly has been spending on new dams and wind turbines as it tries to rely less on oil and coal. EDP said in May that it plans to invest 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) on average every year through 2020 as it adds onshore wind energy capacity in the U.S. and in other markets. It’s the world’s third-largest wind energy operator, according to Mexia.

EDP has been issuing bonds to extend the maturity of its debt and to finance its projects in the U.S., Mexia said. The European Central Bank’s quantitative easing plan has helped companies based in countries such as Portugal, he said.

“Of course the central bank intervention helped companies based in the periphery of Europe with access to the capital markets,” Mexia said. “Besides monetary policy, Europe should have something on budget policy.”

Brazilian Market

The Portuguese utility is also developing projects in Brazil, including in partnership with China Three Gorges Corp., which is EDP’s biggest shareholder with a 21 percent stake.

“We are developing things together, namely in markets like Brazil,” Mexia said. “We will do things together because we share the same vision. The world will have more clean energy.”

Brazil has a “very strong and well-designed energy market,” according to Mexia. “Politics has not had a negative impact on the energy market.”

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