GL Garrad Hassan’s services help to realize largest US wind farm

GL Garrad Hassan is providing independent engineering services in relation to the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Gilliam and Morrow Counties, Oregon. Experts from the international renewable energy consultancy have conducted a full technical due diligence review in support of the recently completed $1.4 billion project financing for joint lead arrangers Citibank, N.A, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., WestLB AG, New York Branch, and RBS Securities Inc. GL Garrad Hassan is now providing construction monitoring services and technical support throughout project construction to underpin the anticipated term financing at commercial operation.

The independent technical due diligence review conducted by GL Garrad Hassan included an assessment of the energy production at the site, a technical assessment of the site suitability, the plant, the equipment and all of the material procurement, construction and operation contracts. In addition, its experts analyzed project costs and carried out a full financial model review. GL Garrad Hassan’s final independent engineering and wind resource assessment reports served as a foundation for investment decisions made by over two dozen financial institutions involved in the project financing. Stuart Murray, a Director in Citibank’s Infrastructure and Energy Group said "GL Garrad Hassan has worked diligently on this project, providing the project stakeholders with timely due-diligence reviews and valuable technical support. Their continued involvement in the project will help to assure construction quality."

The 845 MW Shepherds Flat Wind Farm will consist of 338 GE 2.5 MW wind turbines, in the first large scale installation of this wind turbine type in North America. Construction commenced in May 2010, with commercial operation expected to occur in 2012. The credit facilities comprise $525mm in fixed-rate bonds with a tenor of construction plus 19.5 years, a $675mm floating-rate construction/term loan with a tenor of construction plus 12 years, and $226.2mm in letter of credit facilities with a tenor of construction plus five years. The senior funded debt and a portion of the letters of credit is 80% guaranteed by the Department of Energy through the Financial Institutions Partnership Program.

Phil Dutton, Vice President of Independent Engineering at GL Garrad Hassan said: "The Shepherds Flat project represents a significant milestone in the history of wind energy in North America, both in terms of its size -one of the largest wind power projects undertaken in the world, the technology -advanced model GE turbines, and the creative financing structure, with a DOE backed loan guarantee. GL Garrad Hassan is pleased to support this landmark project."

GL Garrad Hassan has provided independent engineering services for more wind farm development than any other organization globally and has supported every project financing with a value of over $1 billion.