02 October 2012

Sumitomo invests in 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm project in California

New York, New York – 02 October 2012 - Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA), together with its parent, Sumitomo Corporation (SC) (collectively Sumitomo), have invested in the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, a 550-megawatt (MW) solar power project under construction in the California desert, east of Palm Springs. This is Sumitomo’s first investment in U.S. solar projects and will expand Sumitomo’s renewable energy portfolio, which already includes over 1,800 MW in projects across the United States. 

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Desert Sunlight is the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) facility approved for U.S. public land. It will generate enough energy to power more than 165,000 homes and displace 300,000 metric tons of greenhouse emissions per year – equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road. It is located on approximately 4,100 acres, and the facility is estimated to create more than 630 jobs at peak construction. 

The solar farm – whose other investors include GE Energy Financial Services and NextEra Energy Resources farm – was initially developed by First Solar Inc., the largest U.S. utility-scale solar project developer. First Solar will construct, operate and maintain the project, which uses the company’s advanced thin-film PV technology. Desert Sunlight has secured Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) to supply Southern California Edison with 250 MW, and Pacific Gas & Electric with 300MW of clean energy for the next two decades. 

Sumitomo’s investment was made through a purchase of part of GE Energy Financial Services’ share in the Desert Sunlight project, giving the company 25% ownership. 

Sumitomo is growing the renewable energy business and has extensive experience developing, operating and owning power generating facilities such as wind, geothermal, biomass and solar business around the world. Participation in the Desert Sunlight project is Sumitomo’s fifth renewable energy investment in the U.S. Other investments include: 

•Recently completed 845-MW Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon 
Two Kansas wind farms, the recently completed 131-MW Cimarron II and 168-MW Ironwood projects 
Stanton wind project, a 120-MW wind power facility in Texas 

Globally, Sumitomo owns and operates two wind power facilities in Japan and a 50-MW wind facility in China, the largest wind energy market in the world. The company is also an investor in four solar power projects; 31MW project in southern France; 14MW project in Canary Island, Spain; 10MW project in southern Italy; and a 5MW project in Germany. 

Desert Sunlight supports the initiatives of the State of California of a 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard of 15,000-20,000 MW of renewable energy by 2020. 

Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA) with consolidated assets of $7.2 billion is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation (SC), an integrated trading and investment enterprise engaged in multifaceted business activities. 

Sumitomo Corporation is a leading general trading company, with 150 locations in 70 countries throughout the world. The entire Sumitomo Corporation Group consists of nearly 900 companies and more than 60,000 personnel. 

Source: Sumitomo