In a release, the company noted that the Chisholm View wind project is now under construction near Hunter, 85 miles north of Oklahoma City in Grant and Garfield counties, and is expected to cost approximately $375 million. Enel Green Power North America owns the remaining 49 percent of the 235-megawatt wind farm and serves as project manager. Enel Green Power and GE Energy Financial Services will later raise tax equity for the wind farm.
"Through this deal, we are deepening our partnership with an established wind energy leader, Enel Green Power, and supporting their efforts as a common equity partner, representing an evolution in our US wind investing strategy," said Kevin Walsh, managing director and leader of power and renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.
The company said the project will be completed later this year prior to the Federal Production Tax Credit deadline. It will use 140 of GE’s 1.6-megawatt wind turbines and supply power to Alabama Power Company, a Southern Company subsidiary, under a 20-year agreement. The wind farm’s developer TradeWind Energy, a strategic development partner of Enel Green Power North America, estimated that the Chisholm View wind project will contribute up to $5 million annually to the local economy via property taxes and rent payments to landowners, and create 150 construction and up to 15 permanent jobs. The project is expected to generate enough power to avoid more than 565,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year – equivalent to taking approximately 110,000 cars off the road – according to US Environmental Protection Agency methodology.
GE Energy Financial Services has previously invested with Enel Green Power in a 101-megawatt wind farm in Smoky Hills, Kansas, and a 63-megawatt wind farm in Scurry County, Texas. This transaction expands the GE unit’s global wind portfolio which comprises equity and debt financings for projects spanning 17 US states and four other countries totaling 9.6 gigawatts in operation or under construction. GE Energy Financial Services’ wind investing supports GE’s broader ecomagination strategy to create value for customers by solving energy, efficiency and water challenges.
By José Santamarta, www.geenergyfinancialservices.com