FERC OKs Chinese company's plans to invest in Portugal utility, U.S. wind projects

A Chinese company has been given approval by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to buy into a Portuguese utility and its ownership interests in more than two dozen wind power projects scattered throughout the U.S.

On Feb. 22, FERC authorized China Three Gorges to acquire a 21.35 percent equity interest in Energias de Portugal for a cash consideration of $3.58 billion. Under the deal, CTG would hold 16.44 percent interest in the Portuguese utility’s subsidiary EDP Renewables, which owns a stake in wind projects in a number of countries, including 25 projects totaling 3,447 MW in the U.S. The U.S. projects are in Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, New York, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Washington and Oregon.

Although China has not formally committed to invest in a bailout fund for cash-strapped European nations, the transaction would allow Portugal to sell off some of its assets as required under a $103.8 billion bailout entered into with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in May 2011.

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