Wind energy company First Wind held a ceremony recently to commemorate the start of construction of the 102-MW expansion of the company’s Utah-based Milford Wind project. As part of the ceremony, local and community leaders joined the company at the project site in Milford, Utah to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of the project along with the significance of recent project milestones that include a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) and construction financing, both of which were critical in spurring the current construction activity. Milford Mayor Bryan Sherwood and Millard County Commission Chair Daron Smith joined with First Wind officials and others in signing their names to a turbine blade that will be erected on the wind project.
The Milford Wind Phase II Project will have the capacity to generate up to 102 MW of clean energy upon its completion, enough to power about 22,000 homes. Located in Millard and Beaver County, Utah, the construction associated with the installation of 68 additional 1.5-MW GE turbines for the second phase of the project began in July, with foundations being poured in October.
The construction will be a source of revenue and new jobs to the surrounding area. For example, the 204-MW Milford I project, which went online in November 2009, supported more than 300 development and construction jobs, and First Wind directly spent millions with Utah-based businesses developing and building the first phase of the project and in statewide spending on items such as wages, taxes and more.
RMT, which led the construction for the Milford I project and is currently building First Wind’s Kahuku project in Oahu, Hawaii and the Sheffield Wind project in Vermont, is again leading construction activities for the Milford II project
Power Purchase Agreement with SCPPA
Completed on October 18, 2010, the long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply the cities of Los Angeles and Glendale with renewable energy represented a significant milestone for the Milford II project. Once completed, the second phase of the Milford Wind project will add to the already significant renewable energy that is being produced and delivered to Los Angeles, Burbank and Pasadena through the first phase of the project. The 102-MW expansion will utilize the 88-mile generator lead that was built from the Milford Wind project to the Intermountain Power Plant in Delta, which then connects the site to the electrical grid.
“This PPA for Milford II is significant as it builds on the successful long-term PPA we signed in 2007 for Milford I, which at its time was a landmark for a publicly owned utility,” said Bill D. Carnahan, Executive Director of the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). “As with the Milford I PPA, SCPPA will contract with First Wind for the long-term agreement, prepay for the energy, and sign power sales agreements with the participants to sell them the output of the project to repay SCPPA’s costs including the ongoing operating expenses.”
In addition to the PPA, First Wind recently secured financing for the project. RBS Securities Inc. was lead arranger and bookrunner for this loan. The following banks acted as joint lead arrangers for the financing: Banco Espirito Santo S.A. New York Branch, Santander Investment Securities Inc., CoBank, ACB, and SG Americas Securities, LLC
When completed, the combined phases of the Milford Wind project will have the capacity to generate enough to power the equivalent of more than 65,000 homes annually. With an aggregate of 306 MW of clean, wind energy between the two projects, the power produced by Milford Wind will be the equivalent of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by over 310,000 tons annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Emissions and Generation Resource Integrated Database (E-GRID).
First Wind www.firstwind.com
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