Expanding its renewable energy portfolio in Texas, GE unit (NYSE: GE) GE Energy Financial Services has joined JP Morgan to jointly invest $225 million in a partnership that owns the 662.5-megawatt Capricorn Ridge wind farm in West Texas. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC remains the majority owner and operator of the project. Additional financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE).
The Capricorn Ridge wind farm has been in operation since 2007 and employs 342 of GE Energy’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, the world’s most widely deployed wind turbine, and 65 of Siemens’ 2.3MW wind turbines. The project is located in Sterling and Coke counties in one of Texas’ Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) – resource rich, high-wind areas in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle that will increasingly supply renewable energy to major population centers in eastern Texas via new transmission projects. The Capricorn Ridge project is capable of generating enough electricity to power more than 220,000 homes while avoiding more than 952,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year – equivalent to taking approximately 186,000 cars off the road – according to US Environmental Protection Agency methodology.
“This investment demonstrates our ability to provide both the capital and equipment for critical energy infrastructure projects in support of GE’s broader ecomagination strategy,” said Kevin Walsh, managing director and leader of power and renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services. “We were uniquely suited to invest in this project alongside JP Morgan because of our Texas wind energy market expertise.”
Including Capricorn Ridge, GE Energy Financial Services has invested in 2,143 megawatts of wind farms in Texas – approximately 20 percent of the installed wind power capacity in the state. This transaction represents the GE unit’s second major investment with NextEra Energy Resources and expands GE’s broader relationship with NextEra Energy, which has been a GE customer for the past several decades. NextEra Energy Resources has installed over 3,200 of GE’s 1.5-1.6-megawatt wind turbines, or approximately 5,000 megawatts, in the United States since 2002.
“We are very pleased to have raised capital through this differential partnership transaction on one of the nation’s largest wind energy centers,” said Moray Dewhurst, vice chairman and chief financial officer of NextEra Energy, Inc. “We are equally pleased to have expanded our relationships with GE and JP Morgan.”
GE Energy Financial Services’ wind power investing supports GE’s broader ecomagination strategy to create value for customers by solving energy, efficiency and water challenges.
GE Energy Financial Services’ experts invest globally across the capital spectrum in essential, long-lived, and capital-intensive energy assets that meet the world’s energy needs. In addition to capital, GE Energy Financial Services offers the best of GE’s technical know-how, technology innovation, financial strength, and rigorous risk management. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, the GE business unit helps its customers and GE grow through new investments, strong partnerships, and optimization of its approximately $20 billion in assets.
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, "NextEra Energy Resources"), is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in North America, operating in 22 states and Canada. NextEra Energy Resources is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind energy and solar power, owning and operating approximately 8,569 megawatts of wind power and 158 megawatts of solar power at the end of 2011. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet, which is the third largest in the United States. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE).