Wind Power Uses Ground-Breaking Radar System for Protection of Wildlife

Project Uses Ground-Breaking Radar System for Protection of Wildlife. Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern) announced it has acquired the 283 megawatt (MW) Gulf Wind energy project (Gulf Wind) from Babcock & Brown.

Gulf Wind includes 118 wind turbines and generates 283 MW of wind energy, the power equivalent to the annual energy usage of approximately 80,000 Texas homes.

Wind farm Gulf Wind is strategically located on the Gulf Coast in Kenedy County, Texas, where favorable wind conditions allow the project to maximize energy production during times of peak demand and peak pricing. The project is in close proximity to transmission lines that allow for the efficient delivery of power to nearby markets.

The majority of Gulf Wind’s output has been contracted to be sold to a credit-worthy third-party, with its price secured under a long-term power agreement.

“Gulf Wind is a premier wind energy project that implements leading scientific technology and solidifies Pattern Energy’s presence in the Gulf Coast renewable energy market,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “Gulf Wind is situated in a unique coastal location where the winds blow strongest at the times of the day, as well as the seasons of the year, when electricity demand and prices are highest—translating into strong revenue and the ability to better meet demand in the markets we serve.”

“In addition to its prime location, Gulf Wind uses advanced radar technology to protect the area’s migratory birds,” Garland continued. “This technology is an excellent example of Pattern’s commitment to be a leader in scientific innovation and a good steward of the

Pattern was formed as an independent company eight months ago and now has nearly 400 MW of premium wind power projects in operation or under construction across North America, counting the addition of Gulf Wind.

Pattern’s team of scientists, while under previous employment with Babcock & Brown, led the development and use of MERLIN SCADA radar technology for real-time bird mortality risk mitigation, the first of its kind world-wide.

The "early warning radar" system detects approaching bird activity, assesses mortality risk conditions, and automatically activates mitigation responses, including the idling of all turbines when appropriate.

The Gulf Wind project has been operational for approximately one year and is located on a portion of the Kenedy Ranch owned by the Kenedy Memorial Foundation near the town of Sarita, Texas. According to the terms of the transaction, Pattern will make quarterly royalty payments to the Kenedy Memorial Foundation, which will allow the Foundation to increase its charitable work in South Texas. The project provides millions in tax benefits to the region, including paying nearly $3.5 million in local taxes for 2010.

Pattern executed financing agreements with leading wind project lenders to secure debt to fund a portion of the purchase price. The lenders include: Mizuho Corporate Bank LTD; Banco Espirito Santo, S.A.; Bayerische Landesbank; Commerzbank AG; HSH Nordbank AG; and, ING Capital LLC. The acquisition concludes a nearly one year, competitive sale process conducted by Babcock & Brown.

Pattern Energy Group LP is an independent, fully integrated energy company that develops, constructs, owns, and operates renewable energy and transmission assets across North America and Latin America.

With a long history in wind energy, Pattern’s highly-experienced team of scientists, engineers, construction experts, and legal and financial professionals has developed, financed and placed into operation more than 2,000 MW of wind power in eleven states, including the 283 MW Gulf Wind project in Texas, a premier wind farm utilizing a groundbreaking wildlife monitoring system.

Pattern’s development pipeline exceeds 4,000 MW of renewable energy projects, including a 101.3 MW wind project in Northern California currently under construction. Pattern’s management team has extensive experience in developing complex transmission projects – including the Trans Bay Cable project under the San Francisco Bay – and is currently developing multiple power transmission projects.

With offices in San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, New York and British Columbia, Pattern is strongly committed to promoting environmental stewardship and is dedicated to working closely with landowners and communities to develop and operate premier renewable energy projects.