Tapping into a premier wind resource, Pattern Energy Group LP is starting construction of the 218-MW Panhandle Wind Project using Texas’ new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission infrastructure and connecting to the state’s main power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. GE Energy Financial Services and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. will invest structured equity in the project.
Located on 18,000 acres in Carson County 30 miles from Amarillo, Panhandle Wind will sell power to Citigroup Energy under a long-term hedge offtake agreement. Pattern – which developed the project, is serving as its managing member and will provide operations and maintenance – is receiving construction loans from Bayern LB, Credit Agricole
Corporate, and Investment Bank, Nord/LB, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, RBC, RBS and Societe Generale. Mortenson Construction is overseeing construction of Panhandle Wind, which will use 118 GE turbines each rated at 1.85 MW with 87-meter rotors. Completion is estimated in August 2014. Financial details of the equity and debt transactions were not disclosed.
“We are harnessing the abundant wind resource of the Texas Panhandle to generate clean energy and to benefit the local communities,” said Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland. “Panhandle Wind is creating more than 200 construction jobs and, over the project’s life, will contribute millions of dollars through a community benefits program and property taxes to Carson County, the White Deer and Panhandle School Districts, and the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District.”
GE Energy Financial Services holds a portfolio of about 11 GW of wind power projects in operation or under construction. Since 2007, Citi has directed over $44.4 billion towards clean energy financing and investment as part of its 10-year, $50 billion Climate Initiative.