Fund Takes Interest
In OwnEnergy Deal
Through a fund managed by BlackRock, the investment company has bought a majority interest in OwnEnergy’s 68 MW Windthorst-2 wind project in Texas.
Under the agreement, BlackRock will purchase the majority interest, Morgan Stanley and its affiliates will provide construction financing, and J.P. Morgan will provide institutional equity. OwnEnergy will maintain a minority ownership interest in Windthorst-2, manage its construction and oversee operations once it comes online.
OwnEnergy expects the project to create 95 to 125 temporary construction jobs and five to seven long-term positions during the operation of the wind farm. In addition, the company says the Windthorst-2 project will bring approximately $42.8 million in economic impact to the region.
“We are pleased to have invested in the Texas wind energy sector and, in particular, through the Windthorst-2 project,” comments Jim Barry, managing director at BlackRock. “We look forward to developing our relationship with such a high-quality asset developer as OwnEnergy.”
Construction began in December 2013, with commercial operations expected in the fall. The wind farm will feature 28 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines.
J.P. Morgan Invests
In Texas Wind Farm
E.ON Climate & Renewables North America has secured institutional equity financing for approximately $96.2 million and a commitment to fund further capital contributions from JPM Capital Corp. (J.P. Morgan) in exchange for a partial interest in E.ON’s Panther Creek I&II Wind Farm.
Panther Creek, comprising 172 GE 1.5 MW turbines, is located in Howard, Sterling and Glasscock counties, Texas. The facility became operational in 2009. This financing represents the fifth transaction since December 2011 between J.P. Morgan and E.ON, which says the total value of those transactions is in excess of $500 million.
“The Panther Creek transaction complements E.ON’s overall strategic objectives,” says Verena Volpert, senior vice president of finance for E.ON SE. “We’re delighted to see that our high-quality projects continue to attract positive attention from first-class financial services firms like J.P. Morgan.”
Phase I In Quebec
Boralex Inc., Gaz Metro and Valener Inc. have commissioned an additional 141 MW of the Seigneurie de Beaupre Wind Farms project in Quebec, thus finalizing the first phase of the project.
The 272 MW Phase I features 126 Enercon wind turbines, and the first 64 turbines (131 MW) were commissioned in late November 2013. According to the project partners, Phase I required 1.5 million hours of work to erect the turbines, more than 30 local businesses in the Cote-de-Beaupre region took part in construction and the project represents C$750 in investments.
The 68 MW Phase II is slated to be commissioned this year, and a 25 MW community project will complete the 365 MW Seigneurie de Beaupre Wind Farms project in 2015.
UBS Acquires Stake
In Spinning Spur II
EDF Renewable Energy and UBS International Infrastructure Fund have signed a definitive agreement under which UBS will acquire a 50% equity interest in the developer’s 161 MW Spinning Spur II wind farm project, subject to completion of construction and customary conditions precedent.
In 2013, EDF exercised an option to acquire the remaining 49% interest in Spinning Spur II from Cielo Wind Power LP, bringing EDF’s ownership to 100%.
Spinning Spur II, located in Oldham County, Texas, commenced construction in June 2013 and is expected to enter commercial operation around July. The wind farm will utilize 87 1.85 MW GE wind turbines, and EDF notes that the project is slated to take advantage of the new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission lines in Texas.
“The transaction model allowed EDF Renewable Energy to team up with a strong partner like UBS Infrastructure early in the project lifecycle,” says the developer’s Raphael Declercq. “EDF Renewable Energy will remain in charge of development, construction and tax equity financing until commercial operation is achieved; we will then bring in our expertise in operations and maintenance through EDF Renewable Services to optimize both partners’ long-term investment profitability.”
Spinning Spur II will be UBS International Infrastructure Fund’s sixth investment and its second renewables acquisition. Floyd Gent, head of Americas for UBS International Infrastructure Fund, comments, “Spinning Spur II, upon completion of its construction, is expected to generate stable, long-term returns for the fund, consistent with our investment objective.”
Construction continues at Iberdrola Renewables’ 202 MW Baffin Wind Farm in Kenedy County, Texas, following road construction that began in November 2013.
The company says major activities included mobilizing the construction trailers and equipment, ordering foundation steel and road materials, and initiating grading. Work continued through December 2013 with road and foundation construction on-site and with equipment manufacturing and electrical engineering off-site.
Baffin is the company’s third wind power project in the complex, south of Baffin Bay, following the Penascal I and Penascal II projects. At 606 MW, the combined complex will become Iberdrola’s largest renewable energy facility in the world.
The Baffin Wind Farm will add 101 Gamesa wind turbines, and Iberdrola expects the $300 million project investment to create up to 240 jobs during construction and eight permanent positions when the expansion is complete. The project is scheduled to reach commercial operation by the end of this year.
In addition to Baffin, Iberdrola Renewables says it has more than 500 MW in late-stage development that was on track to begin construction in 2013 or otherwise qualify for the production tax credit. w
Projects & Contracts
Fund Takes Interest In OwnEnergy Deal
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