Cogentrix Energy's cogent energy strategy entails developing electric generating facilities. An indirect, subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, the company develops, owns, and operates about 20 independent power plants, primarily in the US, but also in Turkey. The company markets wholesale power to electric utilities across North America. In addition to developing conventional (coal and gas-fired) power plants, Cogentrix Energy is also operating green power (solar, wind and hydroelectric) plants in the US and elsewhere. In 2011 the company had a US portfolio of 17 hydro, wind, solar, and thermal plants (with about 3,300 MW generating capacity), and 2,300 MW in Turkey (including 480 MW of hydro facilities).
In a move to burnish parent New York-based investment firm Goldman Sachs' green energy profile, in 2009 Cogentrix Energy acquired Sunray Energy, Inc., the owner and operator of facilities formerly known as Solar Energy Generation Systems I and II, the world's first two utility-scale solar trough plants. The plants are capable of delivering 43 MW of electric and are under contract to Southern California Edison. In 2010 the company signed a deal with Xcel Energy's Public Service Company of Colorado unit to build a 30 MW solar generating project near Alamosa. The plant project, which was contracted to Mortenson Construction in early 2011, will be the largest facility of its type when completed in 2012.
In a move to adjust its asset profile and to raise cash, in 2012 the company agreed to sell five North American conventional and renewable power plants (with more than 500 MW of capacity) and a gas pipeline project to The Carlyle Group.
Looking for new opportunities outside the US, in 2008 Cogentrix Energy teamed up with Tasyapi Enerji Grubu, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tasyapi Holdings, to develop, construct, own and operate electric power generation projects in Turkey. In 2010 the company acquired Turkey based power generator Eti Elektrik.
Cogentrix Energy once had stakes in 27 coal- and gas-fired facilities, but sold several of these after Goldman Sachs acquired the company in 2007 as part of a major restructuring in order to improve the company's finances and lower risk. As part of Goldman Sach's plans to sell former Cogentrix Energy properties in which it holds only a minority stake, in 2011 the company sold its 20% interest in Calypso Energy Holdings (which has a portfolio of 12 fossil fueled cogeneration facilities in the eastern US) to Energy Investors Funds.