Providing capital and technology to farm the wind in America’s heartland with global renewable energy company Enel Green Power, GE (NYSE: GE) is investing common equity and supplying turbines for the 250-megawatt Buffalo Dunes Wind Project in Kansas.
This transaction expands GE Energy Financial Services’ and Enel Green Power North America’s portfolio of co-owned wind projects. Last year, the companies invested in the 235-megawatt Chisholm View wind project in Oklahoma, and in the 200-megawatt Prairie Rose wind project in Minnesota. Both projects also feature GE wind turbines. The GE unit and Enel Green Power North America also invested in the 101-megawatt Smoky Hills wind farm in Kansas and the 63-megawatt Snyder wind farm in Texas.
GE unit GE Energy Financial Services now owns 51 percent of the Buffalo Dunes project under construction southwest of Garden City, Kansas in Finney, Grant and Haskell counties. Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power, maintains a 49 percent ownership stake, retains an option to increase this stake to 75 percent if elected during certain periods in 2013 and 2014, and serves as project manager. In addition to capital, GE is supplying 135 wind turbines for the project and will provide operations and maintenance after completion. Alabama Power Company will buy most of the electricity from the project under a 20-year agreement.
“This project is a fresh example of how to harness the strong wind in America’s heartland to power the eastern United States with low-cost, clean electricity,” said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services. “It also showcases GE’s ability to provide both world-class technology and flexible financing structures, and advances our long-term partnership with renewable energy leader Enel Green Power.”
Construction, managed by RES Americas, is expected to be completed by December. The wind project is expected to employ 150 construction workers, create 15 permanent jobs, generate enough electricity to power 65,000 homes and – according to Environmental Protection Agency methodology – avoid approximately 800,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year – equivalent to the annual emissions from 153,000 US passenger vehicles.
GE Energy Financial Services’ global wind portfolio now comprises equity and debt financings for projects spanning 17 US states and four other countries totaling more than 10 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.
GE Energy Financial Services—GE’s energy investing business—works as a builder, not just a banker, to help meet the world’s power and fuel needs. We offer more than money—expertise—for essential, long-lived and capital-intensive power, oil and gas infrastructure—GE’s core business. Drawing on GE’s energy technical know-how, financial strength and risk management, we see value where others don’t and take on our customers’ toughest challenges with flexible equity and debt transaction structures. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, GE Energy Financial Services holds an approximately $20 billion global energy portfolio.