The financing was provided by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company and consists of a $106 million non-recourse construction loan that will convert to a 20-year amortizing term loan after the start of commercial operations.
In addition, as previously announced, Invesstissment Quebec, a provincial government investment agency, has agreed to provide the wind power project with $15 million of debt financing. The total project costs are $146 million net, after reimbursement of substation and interconnection costs by Hydro-Quebec.
"We are very pleased to have completed this important milestone for the Mont Louis project" said John Brace, CEO of Northland. "We are especially grateful for the support we have received from Hydro-Quebec, the government of Quebec, and especially the local municipalities and residents in the Mont Louis area throughout the development process. We look forward to completing the construction of this project next year and providing reliable power for Quebec consumers". The Mont Louis project was awarded a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement in 2004 to supply electricity to Hydro-Quebec, and is the third wind farm Northland has developed in Quebec.
Construction of the wind farm was begun in June 2010 by Borea, a joint venture between Quebec’s Pomerleau and Blattner Energy of Minnesota, the same team that successfully completed Northland’s 127.5 MW Jardin d’Eole wind energy project in November 2009. Commercial operations are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2011, subject to completion of the project’s interconnection facilities by Hydro-Quebec. The project is using 67 General Electric 1.5sle wind turbines.
Completion of the Mont Louis wind farm, as well as the 260 megawatt North Battleford combined cycle project and the 86 megawatt Spy Hill peaking plant, both under construction in Saskatchewan, would see Northland’s total assets grow to over 1,300 megawatts of net generating capacity, an increase of over 50%. In addition, Northland has a large portfolio of clean and green development projects, including over 200 megawatts of solar, wind, and hydro projects awarded under the Ontario Feed-in-Tariff program.
Northland is a Canadian income trust that has ownership or economic interests in 10 power projects totaling over 1,100 MW (net 872 MW). Northland’s assets comprise natural-gas-fired plants which efficiently and cleanly produce electricity and steam as well as facilities generating renewable energy from wind and biomass. Sales are made almost entirely under long-term contracts with a current weighted average duration of 13 years.
Northland’s plants are located in Canada, the United States and Germany. In addition, Northland has the 86 MW Spy Hill project, 260 MW North Battleford project and 100 MW Mont Louis wind farm in construction, and 216 MW of wind, solar and run-of-river hydro projects awarded under the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in-tariff program in advanced stages of development. Northland also has a diverse development portfolio of high-quality ‘Clean and Green’ energy projects, including wind, solar, natural gas, and hydro assets that supports its strategy of sustainable growth primarily through internally developed opportunities.
The Fund’s trust units, two series of convertible debentures, and Northland Power Preferred Equity Inc.’s preferred shares, which trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols NPI.UN, NPI.DB, NPI.DB.A, and NPP.PR.A respectively, are qualified investments for RRSPs and DPSPs under the Canadian Income Tax Act. The Fund has in place a distribution re- investment plan that allows Unitholders who are residents of Canada to automatically have their monthly cash distributions reinvested in additional units. Participants do not pay any costs associated with the plan, including brokerage commissions. For further information or to join the plan, contact your financial advisor or broker.