May 1, 2014 2:00 am JST

Sumitomo to build next US wind farm in Texas

TOKYO -- Sumitomo Corp. plans to develop and operate a wind farm on its own in the U.S. state of Texas.

     The trading house recently bought out American power producer BNB Renewable Energy's stake in a development company established as a 50-50 joint venture through a Sumitomo subsidiary. This marks the Japanese company's first wholly owned foreign unit in the wind and solar power business.

     Construction of the wind farm will begin in May, with completion targeted for the summer of 2015. The farm will have 118 wind turbines with a combined generation capacity of 200,000kW. The bulk of the project's 35 billion yen ($337 million) cost will be financed with bank loans.

     All power produced by the wind farm will be sold to U.S. confectionery producer Mars under a 20-year contract. Mars will get carbon credits, offsetting its own emissions.

     Sumitomo has previously sold electricity to local power companies overseas, but this will be its first time supplying power to an industrial concern.

     This will be the trading house's sixth wind or solar farm in the U.S. Its 11 foreign sites will have a combined generation capacity of around 830,000kW.