The Alta VI and VIII financing includes a seven-year construction and term loan, a bridge loan to the ITC cash grant from the US Department of Treasury, and ancillary credit facilities. The proceeds of this financing will be used to reimburse funds previously advanced by ArcLight Capital Partners and Global Infrastructure Partners to fund the development of the projects as well as fund the balance of their construction costs. The projects will utilize 100 V90-3.0 MW turbines manufactured by Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc.
Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and MUFG Power & Utilities Group acted as Co-Bookrunners and Co-Structuring Leads for the financing, while ING Capital, Rabobank, Santander, and RBS Securities, Inc. acted as Joint Lead Arrangers. In addition, the lender group also included CoBank, Bank of Montreal, Key Bank, Lloyds, DZ Bank, and Helaba. The syndication of the loan received significant interest from a broad range of commercial lenders and was significantly oversubscribed.
“We were able to build upon the successful financing efforts for the initial five Alta phases and execute quickly and efficiently on the Alta Wind VI and VIII financing given the bank markets familiarity with the Alta franchise,” said John O’Connor, CFO of Terra-Gen.
Alta Wind VI & VIII, like all the earlier phases of the Alta Wind Energy Center, will sell their renewable energy to Southern California Edison (“SCE”) under a 1,550 MW power purchase agreement and will be managed, operated and controlled by Terra-Gen Power. The projects will each interconnect to and utilize SCE’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project. Blattner Energy, Inc. is leading the construction of the projects which are expected to be complete by the end of the year.
When the initial 1550 MWs of the Alta Wind Energy Center are constructed, the Alta projects will have increased wind industry jobs in California by 20 percent, and created more than 3,000 domestic manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance jobs. The Alta projects will also contribute more than $1.2 billion to the local economy in Kern County, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 52 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 446,000 cars off the road.
"We are delighted to have closed this financing which will enable us to have the nation’s first gigawatt wind farm operational by the end of the year,” said Jim Pagano, CEO of Terra-Gen. "Reaching the gigawatt scale represents an important milestone for the nation’s wind industry and a critical step forward in the effort to advance our nation’s energy independence and environmental goals."
“This construction financing for Alta VI and VIII along with last week’s leveraged lease financing of Alta IV are further evidence that a variety of traditional and new investors are drawn to the long-term sustainable cash flow generation profile of the Alta Wind Energy Center,” said Dan Revers, Founder of ArcLight Capital Partners.
“The various financing structures employed for the AWEC continue the trend of Terra-Gen Power as an innovative and leading renewable power generation player in the US market,” said Jonathan Bram, Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners.
Alta Wind VI & VIII are each owned by California Highwind Power, a subsidiary of Terra-Gen. Terra-Gen is an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners and Global Infrastructure Partners. With more than 1,550 MWs of generating capacity in operation across 26 renewable power facilities, and with 5,000 MWs in development, Terra-Gen Power is one of the nation’s leading renewable energy providers and the only American company that provides electricity on a utility scale from three major renewable energy sources: wind, solar and geothermal power. Terra-Gen is headquartered in New York City with offices in San Diego, Reno, Denver, and Charlotte.