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Photon Energy Investments Expands to North America
by Staff Writers
Amsterdam, Netherlands (SPX) Jan 28, 2013

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Dutch-based Photon Energy Investments is expanding to North America by partnering with Toronto-based investment bank Jacob Securities. Photon Energy Investments believes North America is quickly becoming one of the largest PV markets in the world, and is positioning itself to take advantage of the opportunity with an initial milestone of commissioning 100 MW of assets.

Initially the company has plans to commission power plants primarily in Ontario and New Jersey. To reach this goal both companies are setting up a joint venture named Photon Energy Investments North America N.V., tasked with acquiring PV solar power projects in late-stage development exhibiting power off-take and project financing conditions that meet the company's strict investment criteria.

The partnership brings together the technical expertise of the Photon Energy Group in PV project development, asset management, EPC and O and M, with the project financing, financial advisory and deal sourcing know-how of Jacob Securities.

"We recognise that project financing in North America is more complex than in Europe, and that the scope of opportunities will be vast", says Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy, explaining that, "our partnership is designed to leverage our complementary strengths in this market."

Studies predict a boom for the PV sector in North America for this decade and beyond. The political situation in both countries is increasingly in favour of renewable energy, and a continuing decline in investment costs is making solar power an economically viable option.

The Canadian province of Ontario is pursuing its plans of becoming a leading centre for PV technology, and the re-election of Barack Obama as US President has firmly placed renewable energy on the agenda in Washington, D.C. In 2011, 289 MW of PV capacity was installed in Canada bringing the total capacity to 571 MW, while in the USA an estimated 3,200 MW were installed in by the end of 2012 bringing the total capacity to an estimated 7,600 MW.

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) expects 4,300 MWp and almost 37,100 MWp could be installed in Canada and the USA, respectively, by 2016, representing a five-fold growth scenario.

Beyond grid-tied solar power, Photon Energy is offering O and M services through its division Photon Energy Operations, and pursuing off- grid and solar-hybrid project opportunities under its Power Solutions division.

These solutions address the increasing demand for PV power as a means to reduce power costs, especially in remote operations of energy-intensive sectors such as mining and agriculture, but also increasingly in the commercial and residential sectors.

"We are seeing only the tip of the iceberg in term of solar power usage" says Georg Hotar, citing that by the end of this decade, as much as half of North American households and businesses may be able to reduce their electricity bills and do good for our environment by embracing solar power.


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