First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, announced that it has obtained $254 million in financing for its South Plains Wind project in Floyd County, Texas. With financing successfully in place, First Wind was able to advance its second renewable energy project in Texas by finalizing an order with Vestas for 100 V100 turbines with a capacity of 2 megawatts (MW) each.
“We’re pleased to secure the necessary financing to move forward with the South Plains Wind project while expanding our relationship with Vestas,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “This is a significant milestone for the South Plains project, and we appreciate the commitment of our financial, turbine, construction and community partners. As we continue to make progress on our second project in Texas, we’re looking forward to investing in the local economy and delivering competitively priced clean energy to Texas homes and businesses.”
South Plains Wind Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of First Wind, closed on a $254 million financing agreement for the South Plains project. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU) has committed tax equity for the project. BayernLB is providing term debt financing for the project.
“We are happy to partner with First Wind on this critical project, which will provide long term, competitively priced clean energy to Texas residents,” said Lance Markowitz, Managing Director and Head of MUFG’s Leasing and Merchant Banking Group. “This transaction is another example of our strategic objective to be the leading financial solutions provider for the renewable energy industry.”
“The successful financing of this project once again shows our strong and continuing commitment to the North American wind sector,” said Alexander von Dobschütz, who is heading the Structured Finance Division at BayernLB. “As an energy industry expert and recognized provider of international project and export financing, BayernLB is pleased to support our client First Wind by structuring and providing term debt to another power hedge transaction in Texas.”
The South Plains Wind project is located on approximately 51,000 acres in Floyd County, northeast of Lubbock, Texas. Once complete, the project is expected to deliver power to the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) power markets through the CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission system, and will have the capacity to generate 200 MW of cost-competitive, clean energy.
South Plains is projected to produce enough emissions-free electricity to power more than 62,000 Texas homes annually. Construction-related activities on the South Plains project will create hundreds of jobs in the state of Texas, with M.A. Mortenson as the prime contractor on the project. The South Plains Wind project will be completed and online by the end of 2015.
First Wind is also building the 150 MW Route 66 Wind project in Armstrong and Carson Counties, Texas. Completion of that project is expected by the end of 2015. First Wind operates other utility-scale renewable energy projects in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.