Wind Capital closes on $240M in financing for Missouri?s largest wind farm

The deal is one of the first transactions under which the Investment Tax Credit grant proceeds under the federal stimulus package were financed, Wind Capital said.

The company said the project, which will cost about $300 million and create more than 2,500 jobs, is believed to be the largest investment by the private sector in the state of Missouri this year. Construction on Lost Creek began in July and is expected to be completed in late spring of 2010.

When finished, the wind power farm will generate enough electricity to power more than 50,000 homes. Job creation, economic investment, and the development of renewable energy will be the key points highlighted by Vice President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke during an event at the ABB manufacturing facility in Jefferson City, Missouri, where they will join representatives of Wind Capital Group (WCG), Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI), ABB, GE Energy, United Auto Workers (UAW), and RMT to announce the development of the Lost Creek Wind Farm, which will be the state’s largest wind energy development and is expected to create over 2,500 jobs.1

The 150-megawatt (MW) Lost Creek Wind Farm will be located in DeKalb County, Missouri, and will be developed by WCG, which is based in St. Louis. GE Energy will supply 100 of its 1.5 MW wind turbines; ABB will supply 100 electric transformers, which will be made by UAW employees at its Jefferson City facility; and AECI will purchase all the electricity generated at Lost Creek, providing a firm customer base of electric cooperative members and its strong high-voltage transmission system to make wind power in Missouri a viable energy resource.

“Homegrown wind projects like Lost Creek don’t just provide clean energy, they generate manufacturing, construction and maintenance jobs, and new opportunities for farmers, landowners and rural communities. By harnessing the power of wind, we are making a lasting investment in America’s energy infrastructure,” said WCG President Tom Carnahan. “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gave Wind Capital Group and our investors the confidence to proceed with what will be the largest wind farm in the State of Missouri, and the support of the Administration and Congress for renewable energy has set the table for new investments in wind energy projects across the country. We are very pleased that Vice President Biden will be able to join us to announce the Lost Creek project and to show the Administration’s support for job creation, economic investment, and energy independence for the people of America.”

“Associated Electric Cooperative is committed to providing affordable, renewable energy to our member cooperatives,” said Jim Jura, CEO and general manager of AECI. “We realize it takes a mix of resources, including wind, coal and gas plants, hydropower, our aggressive energy efficiency program and, down the road, possibly nuclear energy, to meet rural electric cooperative members’ need for reliable, affordable electricity.”

“This is the fourth Missouri wind farm developed through a partnership between AECI and Wind Capital Group that harvests the wind energy in our cooperative service area and invests in our rural communities,” Jura said.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly called the federal stimulus package, included several provisions that encouraged the development of wind energy projects like Lost Creek. Key among these provisions is the extension of the federal production tax credit (PTC), which would have otherwise expired, providing an incentive to construct wind energy projects in 2009 and 2010. The ARRA also established a new, temporary Department of Energy loan guarantee for renewable energy, which has provided better access to lending markets for wind energy providers.

“We are honored to have Vice President Biden visit us here in Jefferson City where we use American know-how to design and manufacture electrical transformers, which are a key component of the wind energy industry,” said Enrique Santacana, President and CEO of ABB Inc. and head of the company’s North America operations. “As one of the world’s largest suppliers of products, systems and services for the renewable energy industry, we are very excited about the potential of projects like Lost Creek to transform our energy future.”

“The U.S. wind industry has seen tremendous growth over the past 2 years, installing more capacity than during the previous 20 years combined” said Steve Bolze, president of GE Energy’s Power & Water business. “The short term impact of the stimulus package coupled with a long term solution such as a Federal Renewable Energy Standard will provide the stability required to make the necessary investments in order to meet President Obama’s renewable energy vision. Along with WCG, we are excited about the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the continued growth of the wind industry.”

“This is a great opportunity for members of UAW Local 2379, who have a proud track record of quality production for the power generation industry,” said Jim Wells, Director of UAW Region 5, which includes Missouri and 16 other states. “Green industries can and will include good-paying union manufacturing jobs, because that’s how we can grow our economy and protect our environment at the same time.”

“This is an exciting event for RMT, not only because we are designing and constructing this impressive facility, but also because our energy and environmental services are contributing to a sustainable energy infrastructure for America based on renewable natural resources," said Steve Johannsen, RMT President. "Wind energy projects such as Lost Creek are integral to the growth of our national economy and one of the best options for clean, abundant and renewable power generation. We look forward to helping Missouri achieve its goal of 11% renewable energy by 2020."

Lost Creek Wind Farm

• Wind Capital Group will break ground on the Lost Creek Ridge wind farm – a 150 MW facility in DeKalb County in Northwest Missouri – in August of 2009.
• Owned and operated by Wind Capital Group, Lost Creek will sell electricity to Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI), a provider of energy to 6 regional and 51 local electric cooperatives in Missouri, Oklahoma and Iowa.
• The Lost Creek project will use turbines built by GE Energy and transformers built by members of the UAW union at the ABB plant in Jefferson City, Missouri.
• According to U.S. Department of Energy metrics, the Lost Creek project is expected to create more than 2,500 new jobs.1

Formed in 2005, Wind Capital Group is a successful Midwestern-based company committed to using American technology and know-how to harness clean, renewable sources of energy, create jobs, generate opportunity, and help forge a path to American energy independence. We continually strive to form responsible partnerships with the communities in which we operate, provide our workers with an environment for personal growth within the company, and provide continued long-term value for our investors.

Wind Capital Group is currently developing wind farms projects in sixteen states across the central U.S. and has a development pipeline of over 2,500 MW. Wind Capital Group has offices in St. Louis, Missouri, Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois.