Beothuk Taps Canadian Offshore Partner
On behalf of Copenhagen Infrastructure II, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has entered into a partnership with Newfoundland-based developer Beothuk Energy to develop the 180 MW St. Georges Bay wind farm, to be located off the coast of Newfoundland.
Until a power purchase agreement (PPA) has been secured, Beothuk Energy will continue to lead the development of the project. Once a PPA has been obtained, CIP will lead the project to financial close, as well as through the construction phase, in cooperation with Beothuk Energy.[adright zone=’190′]
Beothuk says it has secured approvals and significantly advanced the development of the project – to be Canada’s first offshore wind farm – since 2011.
The announcement is part of a larger agreement between Beothuk and CIP in which CIP will develop, own and operate wind farms in Atlantic Canada.
Beothuk says it is advancing projects totaling up to 1,000 MW in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. According to the developer, the St. Georges Bay project will supply clean energy to more than 150,000 households, as well as create more than 500 jobs during construction.
Jacob Capital Management Inc., managed by Sasha Jacob, acted as the financial advisor to Beothuk Energy and is the exclusive financial advisor to Beothuk and the Beothuk projects. Norton Rose Fulbright is acting as Beothuk’s legal counsel.
“We are looking forward to participating in developing the St. Georges Bay project together with Beothuk,” said Christina Grumstrup Sørensen, senior partner at CIP. “We see significant potential for offshore wind in Atlantic Canada due to strong winds, shallow water and an existing industry with experience in working in an offshore environment since many years.”
Enel Lands $500 Million Financing Package For Cimarron Bend
Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA), acting through its subsidiary Cimarron Bend Wind Holdings LLC, has signed a tax equity agreement worth approximately $500 million with three investors – Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and MetLife – for the 400 MW Cimarron Bend wind project in Kansas.
Under the agreement, the investors will contribute the above amount to the wind farm’s owner, Cimarron Bend Wind Holdings, in exchange for 100% of Class B membership interests in the project.
According to EGPNA, this interest will allow the three investors to obtain, at certain conditions provided by U.S. tax laws, a percentage of the fiscal benefits that will be attributed to the project. In turn, EGPNA, through Cimarron Bend Wind Holdings, will retain 100% ownership of the Class A interests and, therefore, management control of the project.
The funding commitment came into effect at signing. Funds will be released in two phases: The first installment will be released midway through the entire project construction, and the second installment will be released upon completion of the project. The tax equity partnership will be supported by a parent company guarantee from Enel SpA.
The Cimarron Bend wind farm, whose construction started in April, is expected to begin operations in 2017. The project will require an investment of approximately $610 million, says EGPNA.[adleft zone=’190′]
Cimarron Bend Wind Holdings, which owns the project through special purpose vehicles, is fully owned by Enel Kansas, a 100% subsidiary of EGPNA. Cimarron Bend Wind Holdings has taken over the project assets from Cimarron Bend Wind Project LLC.
Cimarron Bend is supported by two 200 MW power purchase agreements: one with Google and the other with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities. Cimarron Bend is the first of Enel Group’s North American wind farms to sell a portion of the power produced to a corporate off-taker.
Wind Represented In Mexico Energy Auction
Wind energy developers celebrated after Mexico’s second long-term electricity auction.
Cubico Sustainable Investments, a global renewable energy company with an installed gross capacity of approximately 2 GW, says it has won power purchase agreements in Mexico’s second long-term electricity auction for the 250 MW Mezquite wind project and the 290 MW Solem solar photovoltaic (PV) project, representing a total investment of approximately $700 million.
According to Cubico, it will raise financing for $500 million and will invest, along with its minority partners, $200 million in equity to start the construction of these projects early next year and have them operational between 2018 and 2019.
The company says the 250 MW Mezquite wind project is located in the state of Nuevo Leon, in the northeast of Mexico, and forms part of an 800 MW portfolio of wind projects under development acquired by Cubico from Banco Santander in 2015.
Secondly, the 290 MW Solem solar PV project is located in the state of Aguascalientes, in central Mexico, and is owned by Cubico and its partner Alten Energias Renovables, an independent power producer focused on PV technology in southern Europe, Africa and Latin America.
“This is the beginning of a new era for Cubico in Mexico that sets solid foundations to move forward with our growth plan and long-term investment strategy in the country,” said Osvaldo Rance, head of Mexico for Cubico.
In other Mexico auction results, EDF EN Mexico, a subsidiary of the EDF Energies Nouvelles Group, has won a contract for the 252 MW Gunaa Sicaru wind project.
The project is located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region in Oaxaca. The wind farm, covering an area of approximately 4,400 hectares of leased land, will comprise Gamesa turbines. Transmission capacity for the project has been secured through the Federal Electricity Commission’s Oaxaca Second Open Season.
EDF also won the 90 MW Bluemex Power solar project, located in Guaymas, Sonora.[adright zone=’190′]
“We are pleased to take this important step in our expansion plan for the Mexican renewable energy market and to be an active player in the framework of Mexico’s Energy Reform,” commented Gerardo Pérez Guerra, vice president and country manager of EDF EN Mexico. “The diligent work of the EDF EN North American team has allowed the EDF Energies Nouvelles Group to achieve continued success in this increasingly competitive market.”
Present in Mexico for 15 years, EDF EN Mexico installed its first wind project in 2009 and has put into service a total wind capacity of 391 MW.
Transmission Line Moves Forward
Vermont Green Line Devco LLC (VGLD) and the Town of New Haven, Vt., have reached an agreement on a proposed high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) transmission line linking wind and hydropower from New York State with New Haven.
According to an agreement document, the New Haven Select Board decided at an Oct. 4 meeting that the 400 MW HVDC project would “benefit the town and its residents by providing needed revenue.” The decision was made following a “favorable resident survey,” the town says.
In turn, the Town of New Haven says it is in its “interests to support VGLD’s Petition for a Certificate of Public Good to the Vermont Public Service Board,” which now must authorize the “construction and operation of the project.”
The proposed Vermont Green Line is a 60-mile transmission project linking wind and hydropower resources north and west of Beekmantown, N.Y., with New Haven via an underground cable, which would be buried along public roadways and submerged beneath the waters of Lake Champlain in Vermont.
The project is being developed by National Grid and Wakefield, Mass.-based Anbaric. According to the agreement, VGLD will make an annual payment of $1.4 million to the town (which will increase by 1% each year through the 40th year of commercial operations).
Amazon Wind Farm Texas Secures Sponsor Equity
Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE) – a portfolio company of infrastructure investment manager I Squared Capital – has committed 100% of the sponsor equity for the Amazon Wind Farm Texas, a 253 MW facility in Scurry County, Texas.
The facility will use 110 GE turbines to generate more than 1 million MWh of power annually, says LCE. Amazon will purchase 90% of the output over a long-term contract.
The $360 million project will receive construction financing from MUFG as coordinating lead arranger and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as mandated lead arranger. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and GE Energy Financial Services will invest in long-term tax equity for the project. BayernLB will provide letter of credit facilities after construction completion.
“We look forward to starting construction at Amazon Wind Farm Texas, as well as working with I Squared Capital on a pipeline of more than 1,000 MW of advanced-stage development projects across Texas and the Midwest,” commented Declan Flanagan, founder and CEO of LCE.[adleft zone=’190′]
The project is expected to be completed in October 2017.
Firm Inks Deal On Construction Financing
Falvez Energy has closed construction financing on the Falvez Astra Wind Project in Texas – the company’s first utility-scale wind project – from GE Energy Financial Services.
Additionally, GE Energy Financial Services and BNP Paribas SA will each provide 50% of the long-term tax equity for the project.
The 163 MW project is located in the Texas Panhandle in Randall, Castro and Deaf Smith Counties (approximately 30 miles south of Amarillo). The project property comprises roughly 11,000 acres of land historically used for ranchland and agricultural purposes. The area is considered to be in the western part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone in Texas.
The energy from the 68 GE 2.4-107 wind turbines will be transmitted through a new 14-mile, 345 kV transmission line to the Sharyland Utilities Windmill Substation and via the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
The day-to-day operations and maintenance of the project will also be provided by GE under a 10-year, full-service agreement.
Tenaska Snags Projects Under Development
Independent power producer Tenaska has acquired a 470 MW wind portfolio under development in Minnesota and North Dakota.
The acquisition from Minneapolis-based PRC Wind comprises three mid-stage projects: 270 MW in Minnesota and 200 MW in North Dakota. All projects will interconnect to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator regional transmission system, and one of the projects will be able to interconnect with the Southwest Power Pool.
“These wind projects are located in regions with both good wind resources and a growing need for renewables,” noted Joel Link, Tenaska’s vice president of development.
PRC Wind will provide support services to Tenaska through the completion of local development activities. Tenaska will assume overall development responsibility, as well as financing, construction and operations. Tenaska also plans to use its inventory of safe-harbor wind turbines to achieve full production tax credit qualification.
Tenaska, based in Omaha, Neb., says it has developed approximately 10,000 MW of natural gas-fueled and renewable power projects.[adright zone=’190′]
E.ON To Manage Four Projects
Novatus Energy has selected E.ON Energy Services to manage four wind farms across three states: two in Texas, one in Maine and one in Washington.
Under the terms of the five-year agreement, E.ON will provide complete asset management, site supervision and balance-of-plant management.
The projects, totaling 700 MW, include the South Plains II and Route 66 projects in Texas, the Oakfield project in Maine, and the Palouse project in Washington.
With the Novatus Energy agreement, E.ON now manages, owns and/or operates wind farms in seven states and in nearly every major independent system operator territory. E.ON also provides operations and maintenance services in Europe.