‘No threat’ from Orsted-TEPCO tie-up in Japan: Pattern CEO

Pattern Energy does not fear being crowded out of the emerging Japanese offshore wind market following the recent deal between the country’s largest power company and global offshore wind leader Orsted, says Pattern chief executive Mike Garland.

Amid growing interest in Japan’s offshore market, Denmark’s Orsted last month announced a memorandum of understanding with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to develop offshore wind capacity in Japan, starting with the Choshi project near Tokyo.

The entry of another major developer has not rattled Pattern, Garland insists.

“I don’t think the Orsted-TEPCO deal matters to us – in fact right now I believe it’s only for one project, or one area,” Garland told analysts on Friday. “We don’t see that relationship as an issue for us.”

Pattern’s nearshore 112MW Ishikari project is in late-stage development off the coast of Japan, expected to enter construction next year and be completed by 2022. It will be the first offshore wind project in Japanese waters and the first anywhere in the world for San Francisco-based Pattern Energy, among North America’s leading publicly-traded wind developers and operators.

Pattern has said that it has “several” other nearshore projects underway in Japan, and is also considering projects in deeper waters. The company has bet a significant chunk of its future on the Japanese market, both onshore and offshore, amid intense competition for renewables assets in the US and a scarcity of near-term opportunity in Canada.

Garland revealed that Pattern has had discussions with TEPCO about working together on “other projects” in Japanese waters, but says TEPCO will only be a “small part of the offshore market” there, with other regional utilities set to play a role as well.

Pattern’s Ishikari project will sell its power to Hokkaido Electric, another regulated utility.

Pattern flips on a wind farm in Japan for the first time

Pattern has an identified list of projects totalling 1.4GW that it will likely acquire from privately owned sister company, Pattern Development – including large wind projects in Canada and New Mexico, in addition to the Japanese portfolio.

Pattern announced Friday that Garland will step down as the company’s president on 1 April and hand the role to Mike Lyon, currently chief financial officer. Garland will remain CEO and will focus on the company’s business strategy and growth plans, while Lyon will assume control over day-to-day operations.

Esben Pedersen, meanwhile, currently chief investment officer, will take over as the new CFO.

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