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Vestas to Acquire Stake in Sowitec

Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s leading wind turbine supplier, is moving to acquire a stake in renewables project developer Sowitec — part of a trend of wind manufacturers diversifying to offer multi-technology solutions to customers around the world.

Vestas this week announced a deal to acquire a 25.1 percent stake in privately owned Sowitec, with an option to buy the rest of the company within three years. Although based in Germany, Sowitec has made its biggest mark in Latin America, particularly Mexico and Brazil, and is active in both solar and wind development in more than a dozen countries.

The deal is not huge by Vestas’ standards, with Sowitec expected to report 2018 consolidated revenues of 30 million euros ($34 million), compared to Vestas’ full-year revenue of 10.1 billion euros. Sowitec claims to have developed more than 2.6 gigawatts of renewables capacity now in operation, typically selling projects once they reach an advanced stage of development.

Major wind turbine suppliers are “increasingly focusing on energy storage and solar PV development,” in addition to developing, financing and constructing wind farms. Turbine companies “see this as a competitive differentiator to sign large deals with asset owners, utilities and governments to offer integrated solutions,” Sashi Barla (analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables) said.

Vestas has already pushed into the projects business in some markets, including through its North American development arm Steelhead Americas. And the company has moved beyond pure wind technology in recent years.  In 2017 Vestas began investing in a research partnership with Northvolt, a Swedish battery storage startup founded by two former Tesla executives.

Last year Vestas paid $100 million to acquire Utopus Insights, a US-based energy analytics and digital solutions company spun out of IBM that will allow the Danish manufacturer to better integrate its products with adjacent sectors like solar and natural gas.

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