Pattern Energy Group LP announced that financing has been completed for Finca de Viento Santa Isabel, the first commercial wind energy project in Puerto Rico. The 75MW wind power project, located in the southern municipality of Santa Isabel, seeks to provide clean, safe, and renewable energy equal to the annual power needs of approximately 25,000 homes.
The construction financing has been provided by Siemens Financial Services and the project is expected to begin construction in October and be completed in September 2012.
"With this project, Pattern enters into a partnership with Puerto Rico to pioneer its much-needed energy diversification and lead the way to cleaner and more efficient energy sources," says Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern. "The provision of financing demonstrates the confidence that investors have placed in both Pattern’s proven ability to successfully see projects through to completion and in Puerto Rico as a viable market for the development of renewable energy in the long term."
Puerto Rico’s Governor, Luis G. Fortuno, welcomed Pattern’s announcement alongside company executives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"A year ago we set forth a comprehensive energy reform that created the necessary conditions for clean, renewable energy projects to flourish in Puerto Rico," Governor Fortuno says. "Finca de Viento Santa Isabel is very much a result of that reform and we thank Pattern for sharing our commitment to diversifying our energy sources and for helping us position the island at the forefront of renewable energy development in the Caribbean region."
Once operational, Finca de Viento Santa Isabel will produce clean, renewable energy in harmony with the agricultural production for which the municipality of Santa Isabel is known, while also creating much needed new jobs.
"Finca de Viento Santa Isabel brings many benefits to the region, including jobs, tax revenue, and homegrown clean energy, all in a way that coexists with the fertile agricultural lands of Santa Isabel and preserves them indefinitely," adds Garland.
Pattern will leverage the experience of its seasoned management team and the expertise garnered from developing wind energy projects across North America to build a state-of-the-art facility in Santa Isabel. New Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines will be erected over the next 11 months, creating approximately 150 jobs during construction and 8-10 jobs during operation.
"We have felt welcomed by the people of Santa Isabel and look forward to working closely with them throughout the lifespan of Finca de Viento Santa Isabel. We have great respect for the citizens and the environment of this beautiful island," said Garland.
Pattern has entered into a 20-year Power Purchase and Operating Agreement with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority for all of the wind energy generated from the project.
By José Santamarta, www.patternenergy.com/