Wind Capital Sells
150 MW Project
Irish renewables investment group NTR says that its U.S. wind company, Wind Capital Group LLC, has sold the 150 MW Osage wind project to Kansas-based TradeWind Energy Inc.
Located in Oklahoma, the Osage project began construction last fall and will start commercial operations in 2015. The project has a long-term power purchase agreement with Associated Electric, a Missouri-based electric cooperative.
NTR says the $60 million transaction marks the successful transition of Wind Capital Group from a company predominantly focused on project development to a wind investment and operations company. Wind Capital Group continues to manage over 350 MW of operating wind projects, NTR adds.
“We are very pleased to have obtained a very satisfactory value for the Osage project through its sale to a strategic party such as TradeWind,” comments NTR CEO Rosheen McGuckian. “TradeWind are active participants in the Midwest and saw the value of a quality wind project which is in an advanced stage of development.”
Sale To Pattern
Vancouver-based Finavera Wind Energy Inc. has completed the sale of a 184 MW wind project in British Columbia to Pattern Renewable Holdings Canada ULC, a subsidiary of Pattern Energy Group.
Construction site activities are expected to begin on the Meikle project in early 2015. Under the C$28 million deal, Finavera has received consideration of $9.3 million from Pattern concurrent with closing, with the balance of funds due to be paid at the close of construction financing. The Meikle wind project has a power purchase agreement with utility BC Hydro.
Utility Files For
Minnesota Power has applied to state and federal regulators for permits to build the 500 kV Great Northern Transmission Line from the Minnesota-Manitoba border to an electric substation on the Mesabi Iron Range.
According to the utility, the project would deliver hydroelectricity generated by Manitoba Hydro to meet growing and changing energy demands in Minnesota Power’s service territory, as well as to help with wind integration.
“The Great Northern Line enhances a unique synergy involving hydropower and wind,” says Minnesota Power Chief Operating Officer Brad Oachs. “The new transmission capacity more readily allows the Manitoba Hydro system to store intermittent wind generation during times when energy markets don’t need it. This is important to Minnesota Power as we expand our Bison wind project to 500 MW in North Dakota by the end of this year.”
Minnesota Power says the new transmission line would facilitate the delivery of at least 750 MW of energy into the U.S. beginning in 2020. The utility, which will have majority ownership of the project, will utilize the Great Northern Transmission Line to deliver to its service area 250 MW from Manitoba Hydro through a power purchase agreement approved by state regulators. The two utilities are also finalizing an agreement outlining how Minnesota Power will purchase additional energy and substantially expand its energy storage opportunities using the new asset.
Minnesota Power estimates the total project cost in the U.S., including substation work, is between $500 million and $650 million, depending upon the final approved route.
Akuo Selects GE
For Texas Project
French developer Akuo Energy has announced that its Chicago-based subsidiary, Akuo Energy USA, has selected 56 GE 1.7-103 wind turbines to power its Rocksprings Phase I wind farm in Val Verde County, Texas.
In addition to a turbine supply deal, Akuo Energy USA and GE have entered into a full-service agreement for the long-term operation and maintenance of the wind farm. Akuo commenced construction at the Rocksprings project in December 2013, and operations are scheduled to start in 2015. The company plans to build Rocksprings in two phases totaling 180 MW.
Brice Yharrassarry, CEO of Akuo Energy USA, says, “We are pleased to have inked two major contractual agreements for the Rocksprings project, paving [the] way for project financing in the second trimester of 2014.”
“We are thrilled to bring GE turbines and services to Akuo Energy’s first wind farm in America,” adds Anne McEntee, president and CEO of GE’s renewable energy business. “GE’s 1.7-103 wind turbine is part of our proven portfolio of advanced technology machines, and a great fit for the winds of this project in Texas.
Siemens Canada has won a 23 MW order from Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. for the Morse wind project, located in southern Saskatchewan.
Siemens will supply, deliver and commission 10 direct-drive SWT-2.3-113 turbines for the project, and the deal also includes a 10-year service and maintenance agreement. Construction is slated to begin this summer, with commercial operation expected by early 2015.
Siemens notes that the Morse project represents the company’s first wind turbine installation in Saskatchewan.
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (APUC) has successfully acquired the remaining 40% of a 400 MW wind power portfolio in the U.S. from Gamesa Wind US LLC for total consideration of approximately $115 million.
Prior to the deal, APUC owned a 60% controlling interest in the projects, which were initially acquired through a newly formed partnership whose original members included APCo, Gamesa and certain tax equity investors. In December 2013, APUC announced its agreement to purchase the remaining 40% interest.
The 400 MW wind portfolio consists of three facilities: the 200 MW Minonk wind farm in Illinois, 150 MW Senate wind farm in Texas and 50 MW Sandy Ridge wind farm in Pennsylvania.
APUC has been the majority owner and manager of the projects since commercial operation was achieved in 2012; therefore, the company says it expects no additional ongoing management or administrative costs. Gamesa will continue to provide operations, warranty and maintenance services for the wind turbines and balance-of-plant facilities under 20-year contracts.
Substantially all of the energy from the projects is sold under fixed-price power sales contracts, including long-term hedge agreements with a remaining weighted average life of 11 years. Ancillary services, including capacity and renewable energy credits, are contracted into the energy markets in which the facilities are located.
Suzlon has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the 240 MW Big Sky wind farm, located in Illinois, to EverPower Wind Holdings. The acquisition brings EverPower’s total operational wind capacity in the U.S. to 752 MW.
The India-based turbine maker recently acquired the wind farm from bankrupt Edison Mission Energy (EME). As part of that deal, Suzlon agreed to forgive a $228 million loan it had made to EME to purchase the project’s turbines. The wind farm, completed in 2011, features 114 of Suzlon’s S88 machines.
Suzlon had already lined up the strategic sale to EverPower with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before closing the EME deal. Kirti Vagadia, Suzlon’s head of finance, says in a statement, “This sale of Big Sky wind farm to a sound long-term investor like EverPower is an important part of our dis-investment strategy to hive off non-core assets, and the net proceeds of the sale will be used to fuel our business growth.”
Financial details of the EverPower deal were not disclosed, but according to a Bloomberg report, Suzlon previously said it expected to earn less than half of the $228 million loan it had made to EME. The turbine maker is reportedly aiming to recover from a debt linked to a previous convertible bond default.
Prowind Canada, in partnership with the Oxford Community Energy Co-op (OCEC), has signed a contract with Senvion for the delivery of 10 MM92 turbines on 100-meter towers for the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm.
The 18 MW community wind project will be located in the Township of Norwich, close to Woodstock, Ontario, and the OCEC will own up to 49% of the facility.
Turbine blades will be sourced from Senvion’s blade plant in Welland, Ontario, which currently employs about 130 people. The towers will also be manufactured in the province, and turbine delivery is planned for 2015.
In addition, Senvion has concluded a 15-year service contract for the project. As a result, the company says it will implement a bigger service station in Ontario and create further jobs in the province. The exact location is currently being identified.
Acciona Energy has won a deal to supply turbines to two Mexican wind farms totaling 252 MW. In addition, the company will serve as engineering, procurement and construction contractor and provide operations and maintenance for the projects for 20 years.
The turbine maker signed the contracts with a company formed by Fisterra Energy, a company majority owned by funds managed by Blackstone, CEMEX and private investors. The wind farms have completed financing, representing a $650 million investment.
The Ventika and Ventika II wind farms will be located in the state of Nuevo Leon and feature a total of 84 3-MW AW 116/3000 MW turbines. Construction is slated to begin in the second quarter of this year, and commercial operation is expected by the second quarter of 2016.
The Alberta Utilities Commission has issued Enel Green Power a three-year permit extension to construct the 33 MW second phase of its 109 MW Castle Rock Ridge wind power plant. The original March 31, 2014, deadline has been extended to March 31, 2017.
According to a regulatory filing, Enel submitted that delays in the development of AltaLink’s Southern Alberta Transmission Reinforcement project, particularly the Goose Lake to Fidler to Chapel Rock transmission upgrade, had impacted Enel’s timeline to complete the 14-turbine second phase. The developer further noted that AltaLink has yet to submit relevant routing details, and Enel stated that it might ultimately need to eliminate a number of wind turbines in order to accommodate the necessary right-of-way and safety setback requirements. w
Projects & Contracts
Wind Capital Sells 150 MW Project
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