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Energy firm signs US acquisition of 480MW wind projects

Agreement sees acquisition of four wind power projects in US and developments in Canada

The four projects are comprised of 240 Gamesa wind turbines
The four projects are comprised of 240 Gamesa wind turbines, well suited to the specific wind regimes

A US energy firm is purchasing four wind power projects from a leading turbine developer. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp has announced that Algonquin Power Co, (APCo) its renewable power generation subsidiary, has signed an agreement to acquire a 480MW portfolio of four wind power projects in the US from Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica, S.A for approximately USD888m.

The 480MW wind portfolio consists of four facilities: Minonk, which is 200MW; Senate 150MW; Pocahontas Prairie, which is 80MW; and Sandy Ridge 50MW, located in the states of Illinois, Texas, Iowa and Pennsylvania, respectively.

Pocahontas Prairie and Sandy Ridge reached their commercial operation dates (COD) in February this year, and Senate and Minonk are in construction with COD anticipated towards the end of the year.

Total annual energy production from the four facilities is expected to be 1,644 GW-hrs per year. The Projects are comprised of 240 Gamesa G9X-2.0 MW wind turbines, which are well suited to the wind regimes and have been proven through the installation of over 3,200MW of G90 turbines to date worldwide. Significant operational benefits will be achieved from using the same wind turbine generator for all four projects.  The projects each have entered into a 20 year contract with Gamesa to provide operations, warranty and maintenance services for the wind turbines and balance of plant facilities.

The projects will be acquired through American Wind Portfolio Holdings LLC. ("AWPH"), a newly formed partnership whose members include APCo and Gamesa. The acquisition of the projects is contemplated to occur in two stages; closing of the acquisition of Pocahontas Prairie and Sandy Ridge is expected to occur promptly following receipt of regulatory approval and the acquisition of Senate and Minonk will occur following their respective CODs.

In addition to the agreement for the acquisition, Gamesa and APCo have entered into a joint development agreement pursuant to which they will jointly pursue additional wind power development opportunities in the US and Canada. Under the terms of the joint development agreement, APCo will be provided visibility into Gamesa's pipeline of 2,700MW of near and medium term wind power development opportunities in the US and Gamesa will have the opportunity to work with APCo to advance and expand APCo's 325MW pipeline of contracted development projects.

Jorge Calvet, chairman and chief executive officer for Gamesa, said: "Our partnership with Algonquin Power has already been a great success that has surpassed our expectations. We expect significant and successful accomplishments in our joint activity over the next few years and are truly proud and privileged to be working with them.”

Ian Robertson, chief executive officer of APUC, said: “We believe that working with Gamesa, a top global manufacturer of wind turbine generators, will maximise the strengths of both companies, provide opportunities for Algonquin to invest responsibly and profitably in wind power generation assets and to maximize returns to both Gamesa's and Algonquin's shareholders.”

Boosting wind power around the world will be the focus of BigSwitch Offshore Wind. The international event, which Renewable Energy Technology (RET) is sponsoring, is taking place in Glasgow on 26th and 27th June. It aims to advance technological developments across global offshore wind by encouraging the European renewable energy industry to work with key delegations from the world’s biggest emerging markets, including China and India, as well as the US. For more information on the event, please email RET Editor Heath Reidy at heath.reidy@bric.com.