GE Renewable Energy secures another win for its Cypress platform in the Nordics, and will supply 16 of its 5.5 MW-158 Cypress wind turbines to the Puskakorpi wind farm. Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners acquires the project from co-development partners Smart Windpower, Mincovest and GE Renewable Energy. Societe Generale selected by GE Energy Financial Services to provide long-term project finance debt. Corporate Power Purchase Agreement secured with a global technology provider as offtaker.
GE announced today that it will supply 16 of its 5.5 MW-158 Cypress turbines, its largest onshore wind turbine in the field, for the 88 MW Puskakorpi wind farm (the “Project”) in Finland along with a 30-year Full Services Agreement (FSA).
The Project was co-developed by Smart Windpower Oy, Mincovest Oy and GE Renewable Energy and acquired by Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners (“FEIP”), a Luxembourg Special Limited Partnership for which Foresight Group LLP acts as Portfolio Manager. The Project is Foresight’s first onshore wind investment in Finland and first partnership with GE’s onshore wind technology.
The raising of the long-term project finance debt and the process of sourcing an investor to acquire the Project was supported by GE Energy Financial Services (“GE EFS”). Societe Generale, a leading bank in the field of renewables financing, is the sole lender. Reaching financial close with committed equity and debt grants the Project notice to proceed (NTP) to commence construction.
Located in the municipality of Pyhäjoki, in the Northern Ostrobothnia region of western Finland, the 88 MW wind farm will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 55,000 households in Finland. It will play a significant role in supporting the country’s goal of meeting 50% of its energy end-consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030.
Commercial operations of the Project is expected to commence in late 2022 with the first onshore wind turbine installation expected to commence early 2022. Other key construction contracts will be executed by Suvic Oy, as the civil and electrical balance of plant contractor, and Ramboll as the Project’s construction manager. Both companies are experienced in the Finnish market.
As part of the transaction, GE Renewable Energy’s dedicated PPA team also secured a corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) with a global technology provider as the offtaker for the Project.
Sheri Hickok, CEO, Onshore Wind International, GE Renewable Energy, said: “With this deal, we now have more than 1.5 GW of committed capacity in the Nordic market utilising our Cypress platform. By partnering with local co-developers on the Puskakorpi wind farm, offtaker, Societe Generale and Foresight, GE is proud to contribute to Finland’s renewable energy goals. This Project demonstrates GE’s unique capability to work across the value chain in onshore wind, complementing customer needs and goals, with a broad skill set of project development, value engineering, securing offtake solutions, access to capital markets, and turbine application.”
Kalle Riihikoski, CEO, Smart Windpower Oy, said: “We appreciated collaborating with GE throughout the development of our Puskakorpi project over the last four years. Thanks to GE’s technical, commercial and financial expertise, we were able to successfully bring the Project all the way to financial close with a PPA and senior debt, and to attract an excellent new owner in Foresight. GE worked well with us at every stage and we look forward to our future projects together.”
Richard Thompson, Partner, Foresight Group, said: “We are delighted to add a fourth asset to the growing FEIP portfolio. This investment is our first in Finland and underlines our appetite for energy infrastructure projects that contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy across Europe. As with all investments in the FEIP portfolio, Puskakorpi wind farm has been externally validated as being compliant with the EU Taxonomy, acting as a further endorsement of the Project’s contribution to the global sustainability agenda.”
Jérôme Deflesselles, Co-Head of EMEA Power Advisory & Project Finance, Societe Generale, said: “Societe Generale is a long-standing player in renewable energy both in financing and advisory and this new transaction will contribute to our commitment to mobilize up to EUR20bn for the renewables sector by 2023. Following the path of the US, the emergence of corporate PPA based deals in Europe is supported by Societe Generale, who is active in many jurisdictions to design offtakers acceptable frameworks with our clients.”
Yann Le Bot, Director, Power Advisory & Project Finance, Societe Generale, said: “We are delighted to have arranged and delivered this financing for some of our key clients in a challenging environment and timeline, enabling a smooth start of construction. This transaction, reinforcing our presence in the region, has been designed to deliver an optimized financing solution in a merchant power environment backed by a corporate PPA.”
GE’s Cypress onshore wind platform enables significant Annual Energy Production improvements with low levelized cost of energy, increased efficiency in service ability, improved logistics and siting potential, and ultimately more value for customers. The platform includes power ratings between 4.8 and 6.1 MW, with 158 and 164-meter rotor diameters and various hub heights. It is equipped with both single piece and jointed blade variants, improving logistics and offering increased output and more siting options in locations that were previously inaccessible.