DOE grants $1.3 billion loan guarantee for wind energy project

The US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced that a partial guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan will be provided for the construction of the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind farm that, with a capacity of 845 MW, is presently one of the largest in the world.

«This wind turbines project – said Secretary Chu – will strengthen the US leadership in clean energy production and is a significant part of the commitment made by the Obama Administration to double renewable energy generation by 2012».

The future wind farm, which will consist of 338, 2.5 MW wind turbines, will be built on an area of about 130 square kilometres in the counties of Gilliam and Morrow (Oregon). Once completed, the whole of the electric power production will be purchased by Southern California Edison through a 20-year agreement. According to the manufacturer, the final capacity could reach 909 MW.

This is the largest project to date to receive a loan guarantee under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP, the programme adopted by DOE that is supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). In this case, the loan will be issued by institutional investors and a group of commercial banks.