Seven giant wind projects, each costing between US$ 600 million and US$ 4.5 billion, and spread between the USA, Mexico, the UK, Germany, China and Australia, helped global clean energy investment to jump 40% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017. The latest figures from the Bloomberg New Energy Finance database of deals and projects show that the world invested US$ 66.9 billion in clean energy in 3Q 2017, up from US$ 64.9 billion in the second quarter of this year and US$ 47.8 billion in the third quarter of 2016.
The numbers for the July-to-September quarter mean that investment in 2017 so far is running 2% above that in the same period of last year, suggesting that the annual total is likely to finish up close to, or a little ahead of, 2016’s figure of US$ 287.5 billion.
The stand-out move of the third quarter of 2017 was American Electric Power investing $4.5 billion in Invenergy’s 2GW Wind Catcher project in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Due to be completed by 2020, the project will have 800 turbines, connected to population centers via a 350-mile high-voltage power line. AEP still needs to secure some regulatory approvals, but construction has started and BNEF is treating the project as financed.
The other top asset finance transactions of the quarter were Dong Energy’s decision to proceed with the 1.4GW Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm in the U.K. North Sea, at an estimated $3.7 billion by the time it is completed in 2022-2023, and Northland Power’s financing of the 252MW Deutsche Bucht array in German waters, at $1.6 billion.
After those came two Chinese offshore wind farms (Guohua Dongtai and Zhoushan Putuo) totaling 552MW and an estimated $2.1 billion, the Zuma Reynosa III onshore wind farm in Mexico, at 424MW and an estimated $657 million, and the 450MW Coopers Gap onshore wind project in Queensland, Australia at $631 million.