US power company AES has increased its wind power operations in China through two new agreements with Guohua Energy Investment Co. Ltd., one of the country’s largest wind power developers.

AES, one of the first US-based power companies to begin building wind generation facilities in China, has acquired a 49 per cent stake in the 49.5 MW Guohua Hulunbeier wind farm in Inner Mongolia, and has also reached agreement with Guohua to start building phase 2 of a jointly-owned wind project in Heibei Province.

Phase 2 of the Huanghua project, 200 km south of Beijing, will add 49.5 MW to the existing wind farm, doubling its capacity. The first phase of the project is still under construction and commercial operation is scheduled for late 2009.

Construction of phase 2 will start when phase 1 is complete, says AES.

“The acquisition of the Hulunbeier Wind Farm and extension of the Huanghua Project are part of AES’s continued expansion of its wind power business in China,” said Tom Kunde, President of AES China. “We see a tremendous opportunity for further growth for AES in China.”

“Renewable energy is a key component of AES’s growth strategy and today nearly 20 per cent of our portfolio consists of renewables like hydro and wind,” said Ned Hall, AES Executive Vice President and President, AES Wind Generation.

AES says that China will play a key role in its global expansion strategy. The country is aiming to have an installed wind power capacity of 30 000 MW by 2020.

The Guohua Hulunbeier wind farm began commercial operation in September 2007.