E.ON secures financing for Illinois wind farm

E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) North America announced today it has secured $122.2 million of institutional equity financing from JPM Capital Corporation (JP Morgan) and Wells Fargo Wind Holdings LLC (Wells Fargo) in exchange for a partial interest in its recently completed Settlers Trail Wind Farm. JP Morgan acted as lead investor in the financing.

‘EC&R constantly looks to determine the most beneficial economic structures best suited for its projects,’ said Dr. Verena Volpert, Senior Vice President Finance, E.ON AG. ‘For this project, teaming with JP Morgan and Wells Fargo made the most sense.’

The project, the first wind farm in Iroquois County, Ill., is located 10 miles west of Watseka and consists of 94 GE 1.6 megawatt wind turbines providing more than 150 megawatts (MW) of power—enough to provide clean power to more than 45,000 households in the central Illinois region using North American made turbines, blades and towers.

‘Wind farms generate clean, affordable, homegrown electricity, creating jobs, providing an economic shot in the arm to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities across America,’ said Steve Trenholm, CEO, EC&RNA. ‘JP Morgan and Wells Fargo were natural partners due to their leadership and experience in the tax equity market.’

This project is expected to generate more than $29 million in local taxes, pay $8 million in local salaries, and earn landowners more than $20 million. At the height of construction, the Settlers Trail Wind Farm project brought more than 200 jobs to the area.

E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) is responsible for the E.ON group’s renewable energy and environmental protection activities around the world. Tapping renewable energy sources offers enormous alternatives, both from a business perspective and for the environment. E.ON Climate & Renewables will be investing euro 7 billion in renewable energy and environmental protection projects over the next five years to expand the share of renewable energy in E.ON’s portfolio for the long term. E.ON has thus taken a leading role in developing renewable energy sources worldwide.