2 Energy Companies Team Up to Form Alterra Power

Joanna Schroeder

Canada is now the home to a giant renewable energy company. Vancouver-based Magma Energy, a geothermal company, has purchased wind, solar and hydro energy company Plutonic Power, also based in Vancouver, to form Alterra Power Corp. The deal is worth around $190 million but when the two companies are combined, their net worth is estimated to be worth $575 million.

In a financial analyst call this week, Ross Beaty, Magma’s Chairman and CEO said that “size matters” and “the power business is all about the cost of capital.”

In a press statement Beaty commented, “This merger will strengthen both companies and will create a larger, more diversified renewable energy company with assets across a broader spectrum of the clean energy industry. It has the potential to lower the cost of capital to develop each company’s existing growth assets, to enable those assets to be developed more quickly, and to better attract new opportunities for future development. Geothermal will remain a core focus of the new company, but hydro, wind and solar assets will be solid business platforms for future growth. In the renewable energy business, bigger is better and this combination will achieve that while enhancing returns to each company’s shareholders.”

The new company, Alterra Power Corp, intends to develop new energy sources either within Canada or globally, whatever projects will provide the best return on investment for shareholders. Magma already operates projects in the U.S., Iceland, and Latin America while Plutonic has wind projects in Canada and is looking to acquire some solar projects in the U.S.

Donald McInnes, Plutonic’s Vice-Chairman and CEO said, “2010 was a breakout year for Plutonic having completed the transition into an operating company. To continue to build on the success of our history as a project developer, a merger with Magma will provide our shareholders with the best path to further value creation achieved through a larger market size, greater liquidity, better access to capital, and diversity of geography and technology with a healthy development pipeline that provides significant growth opportunities.”

In conjunction with General Electric (CE), Plutonic Power operates Canada’s largest wind farm, the Dokie Wind project. Under a 25 year Electricity Purchase Agreement with BC Hydro, the now fully operational wind farm will is expected to generate 320,000-340,000 MWh per year – enough energy to power about 34,000 homes. It is comprised of 43 wind turbines and located in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. As part of the project, Plutonic Power also built seven kilometres of transmission lines and an electric substation.

Electricity, Energy, Geothermal, Hydro, Solar, Wind