These news items are aggregated from the U.S. Government trade agencies. For older news items, please visit the agencies’ web sites directly.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant to Empresas Públicas de Medellín E.S.P. (Public Enterprises of Medellín, or EPM) to evaluate the technical, economic and financial feasibility of constructing one or more geothermal power plants in Colombia's Nereidas Valley. EPM, the largest electric utility in Colombia, is a multi-sector utility founded in 1955 that is owned entirely by the Municipality of Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia.
United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman led a signing ceremony where he announced the first-ever solar energy project in Burma's Mandalay region. This project will increase Burma's capacity to provide stable energy to its people and attract investment that will help the country grow its economy.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a pair of direct loans to two wind power projects in Peru for the export of wind turbines manufactured in Hutchinson, Kan., and Fort Madison, Iowa, by Siemens Energy Inc. The sale will support approximately 800 jobs in those states.
USTDA signed a grant agreement for a U.S.-ACEF project with Amahoro Energy, a Rwandan company formed to electrify the Shyira Hospital in the country's Northern Province and provide reliable energy to the local population. Knight Piésold and Co. (Lisle, IL), the contractor for the project, will evaluate Amahoro's plans to develop a 5 MW greenfield run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant and upgrade five existing small hydro power sites. This effort, which will be completed in two phases, will bring an estimated 12 MW of new generation online.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman today announced that the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body found China’s export restraints on rare earths, tungsten, and molybdenum, which are used as key components in a multitude of U.S-made products for critical American manufacturing sectors, including hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, and energy-efficient lighting, to be inconsistent with China’s WTO obligations. The Appellate Body affirmed a WTO dispute settlement panel’s March 2014 finding, therefore agreeing with the United States and rejecting China’s appeal.
U.S. and WTO Members Launch Negotiations on Environmental Goods Agreement
The United States and 13 other WTO members, accounting for 86 percent of global trade in environmental goods, launched negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) in Geneva, Switzerland. The EGA aims to eliminate tariffs on environmental technologies such as wind turbines, water treatment filters, and solar water heaters. Tariffs on environmental goods can be as high as 35% and pose a significant barrier to trade for U.S. companies.
Ex-Im Bank Finances Export of U.S.-Manufactured Wind Turbines to Talas de Maciel Wind Farm in Uruguay
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is providing a $64.5 million direct loan to Astidey S.A., in Montevideo, Uruguay, for the purchase of U.S.-manufactured wind-turbine generators being exported by Gamesa Technology Corporation Inc., headquartered in Feasterville-Trevose, Pa.
OPIC Board Approves Financing for Solar Plant in Chile
The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has approved an investment guaranty of up to $230 million to First Solar, Inc. to support construction and operation of the Luz del Norte power project, a solar photovoltaic park in Chile’s Atacama desert. This will be the largest photovoltaic project in Latin America once complete, producing 141 megawatts of renewable energy.
SunEdison, IDB, OPIC and CorpBanca Close $190 Million Project Financing for Largest Merchant Solar Plant in Latin America
SunEdison, Inc., a leading global solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services today announced the closing of a $155 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with OPIC, IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), CTF (Clean Technology Fund), and CorpBanca, a Chilean commercial bank. The debt proceeds will be used in Chile for the construction of a 72.8 MWp solar power plant, to inject energy directly into the Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING), selling all its production in the spot market (merchant solar).
USTDA Supports China’s Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change
U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak signed grants for three activities that support the United States' and China's joint commitment to mitigating the effects of global climate change. "USTDA has partnered with China on over 50 environment and climate change projects since 2001," said Director Zak. "Building on past efforts, these new activities will highlight innovative U.S. technologies that can help reduce greenhouse gases and improve energy efficiency in China."
USTDA Director Announces New Energy Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa
U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak concluded her participation in the U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial, where she announced two new projects that will replace diesel generation with energy efficient, environmentally friendly solutions.
OPIC Board of Directors Commits to Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, Affirms Power Africa Pledge
The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has approved an investment guaranty of up to $250 million to support construction of the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in northern Kenya.
USTDA Accelerates the Deployment of Distributed Energy Resources in India
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), a leading electricity distribution company in India, for the development of a distributed energy resource plan for its service territory in north Delhi. The project will enable TPDDL to prioritize and deploy distributed energy resources that will improve the reliability of its electricity network, reduce emissions, and lower overall power costs for its more than six million customers.
USTDA Expands Commitment to Renewable Energy Development in South Africa
U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak signed grants for three renewable energy projects in South Africa.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency concluded their participation in the U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial, with the announcement of two new projects that will replace diesel generation with energy efficient, environmentally friendly solutions. These projects, for solar photovoltaic and fuel cell technologies, are being funded under the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative, an innovative U.S. government effort to catalyze private sector investment for clean energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting early-stage project development.
Secretary Ernest Moniz will join Northern and sub-Saharan African energy ministers for the U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial on June 3-4. Co-hosted by the Government of Ethiopia, the Ministerial will bring together representatives from government, private sector, and academic communities to discuss best practices and technologies for sustainable energy development in Africa.
As part of the Department of Commerce’s Energy Business Development Mission to West Africa, U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak announced support for a project to develop a comprehensive plan for implementing smart grid solutions throughout the power networks of the Eko and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Companies, which serve 16 million customers in the Lagos metropolitan area. Details on this and other UTDA grant announcements in the region can be found on the agency’s factsheet.