Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern) today announced that it has closed the financing of its Ocotillo Wind project, a 265 megawatt (MW) wind power project that will utilize 112 Siemens 2.37 MW turbines. The financing is structured as a construction loan with a seven-year commercial bank tranche co-led by Deutsche Bank and RBC Capital Markets and a 20-year tranche funded by the North American Development Bank. The commercial tranche financing also included The Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale, NORD/LB and KeyBank.
The Ocotillo Wind project is currently under construction and most of the project will be placed into commercial operation in 2012 with a small portion reaching commercial operation in early 2013. Most of the road and civil work has been completed, including a majority of the turbine foundations, and over 30 wind turbines are assembled. The American-made Siemens wind towers, blades and nacelles continue to arrive daily. The towers are made in California, manufactured by Ameron International, while the blades are made in Iowa and the nacelles are made in Kansas.
Ocotillo Wind will be the first renewable energy project to interconnect into the newly constructed Sunrise Powerlink, a 500-kv transmission line that was developed to bring renewable power from the Imperial Valley to San Diego. The wind project will provide clean and renewable energy equal to the needs of approximately 125,000 homes in Southern California each year.
“We would like to thank Imperial County, the Imperial Valley community, the local Native American tribes, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Department of Interior, and San Diego Gas & Electric Service who have worked with us over the past three years to make this project a reality,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “We have been committed to respecting the cultural heritage of the area and to protecting the environment. Ocotillo Wind, like other Pattern projects, is implementing industry-leading initiatives to minimize impacts, including an advanced radar system for the protection of golden eagles and extensive cultural surveys, monitoring and avoidance measures with the aim of preserving cultural resources.”
“Pattern is committed to improving the communities where we develop wind projects and we are proud Ocotillo Wind will provide significant financial contributions to support community, educational, environmental and tribal causes over the life of the project,” added Garland.
The Ocotillo Wind Community Benefits Program will contribute funding through the Imperial Valley Community Foundation (IVCF) to be administered by a granting process for causes benefiting the Imperial Valley, along with financial backing for the Imperial Valley Food Bank and the Imperial Valley Desert Museum. Additionally, the project will provide financial support to programs benefiting regional Native American tribes and environmental causes, such as language preservation initiatives, a college scholarship fund and removing invasive tamarisk from the Carrizo Marsh.
The Ocotillo Wind project has created over 350 jobs during construction, utilizing many workers and subcontractors from the local region. The project will generate substantial tax revenues over the next 30 years, benefiting Imperial County and local schools, among others.
“The positive financial impact from Pattern’s Ocotillo Wind project comes at a time when the Imperial Valley needs it most,” said Gary Wyatt, Imperial County Supervisor. “This wind power project is bringing significant and meaningful change to the Imperial Valley. The sustained economic support from this project will address some of our community’s greatest needs, creating a tremendous positive impact on current and future generations of Imperial Valley residents.”
The Ocotillo Wind project was selected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to help America reach its clean energy goals and protect its future energy security. Once operational, the project will use less than 120 acres, approximately 1% of the area that was set aside for the project.
Pattern entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for the sale of energy produced by the project. Blattner Energy is managing construction of the project.
Ocotillo Wind will be Pattern Energy’s fifth operating wind project in North America and upon completion it will bring the Company’s total to more than 900 MW of installed wind power capacity. Pattern expects to complete a wind project in Puerto Rico and bring a number of wind projects in Canada into construction over the next 12 months.
Pattern Energy Group LP is an independent, fully-integrated energy company that develops, constructs, owns, and operates renewable energy and transmission assets in the United States, Canada and Latin America. With a long history in wind energy, Pattern’s highly-experienced team of scientists, engineers, construction experts, and legal and financial professionals has developed, financed and placed into operation more than 2,500 MW of wind power projects. A strong commitment to promoting environmental stewardship drives the Company’s dedication to work closely with landowners and communities to create premier renewable energy projects. Pattern currently operates more than 670 MW of installed wind energy capacity in North America, with an additional 870 MW of wind projects entering construction over the next 12 months. The Company’s full development pipeline exceeds 3,000 MW of renewable energy and transmission projects. Pattern has offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, New York, and Toronto.