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Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. says its subsidiary Algonquin Power Co. (APCo) has completed the acquisition of an interest in the 50 MW Sandy Ridge wind farm, the first of four projects comprising a 480 MW portfolio of wind power facilities under construction by Gamesa, the company says.

Sandy Ridge, which achieved commercial operation in February, is composed of 25 Gamesa G9X-2.0 MW wind turbines and has a 10-year power sales contract with J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. Sandy Ridge has entered into a 20-year contract with Gamesa to provide operations, warranty and maintenance services for the wind turbines and balance-of-plant facilities.

Total consideration paid for the acquisition of the interest in Sandy Ridge is approximately $29.7 million.

The company says that phase I of the acquisition originally included an interest in both the 80 MW Pocahontas Prairie and Sandy Ridge wind farms. However, APCo and Gamesa say they jointly agreed to defer the interest in Pocahontas Prairie until Gamesa finds a buyer for the wind farm's output on terms that meet APCo's risk-return profile.

The other wind farms included in the agreement are the 200 MW Minonk wind farm, located in Illinois, and the 150 MW Senate wind farm, located in Texas. APCo's investment is expected to occur following the commercial operation of each wind farm, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

In the event the Pocahontas Prairie facility remains un-contracted, APCo says its subsidiary would not acquire an interest in Pocahontas Prairie but would instead expect to increase its ownership interest in the Sandy Ridge, Minonk and Senate wind farms to maintain an overall investment of approximately $270 million.

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