First Wind

US-based First Wind has closed financing for its 148MW Oakfield wind farm project in Maine.

Construction at the project site in Aroostook county is underway, while the commercial operations are estimated to start in fourth quarter of 2015.

The total cost to build the wind project is estimated at $369m and its financing package includes a $237m construction loan and $132m of equity contribution.

KeyBank National Association served as the joint lead arranger administrative agent on the construction loan.

Denmark-based Vestas will provide 48 of its V112 turbines for the project.

Power generated by the wind farm will be sold to customers of four Massachusetts utilities under a 15-year contract.

Oakfield, which is 2.5 miles from the center of the town with the same name, will also qualify for the federal wind energy Investment Tax Credit. Construction at the wind farm was commenced in 2013.

The project will create approximately 300 jobs during construction and provide $27m in tax and community benefit to the Oakfield town and the nearby communities for the next 20 years.

First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor said by securing financing, the company is able to continue construction activities on its sixth wind project in Maine.

"We appreciate the commitment from our financial and construction partners, and we are grateful for the long-term support we have received from the residents and community leaders in the town of Oakfield," Gaynor said.

"It is exciting to see this project move forward as it will deliver significant direct investment into the local economy while serving as a source of cost-competitive clean energy."

"Power generated by the wind farm will be sold to customers of four Massachusetts utilities under a 15-year contract."

KeyBanc Capital Markets utilities, power and renewable energy group managing director and head Andrew Redinger, said "We applaud First Wind’s long-term dedication that brings significant investment to Maine.

"The financing of the Oakfield project demonstrates the solid fundamentals of the wind project that will provide an excellent source of renewable power."

After completion, the Oakfield project will raise the total capital expenditures made by First Wind for wind projects in Maine to more than $1.25bn.

Currently, First Wind has five operational wind farms in Maine, the 42MW Mars Hill in Aroostook county, the 83MW Stetson Wind 1 and 2 schemes in Washington county, the 60MW Rollins in Penobscot and the 34MW Bull Hill in Hancock county.

The company also has the 51MW Hancock in Hancock county, the 48MW Bowers in Penobscot and Washington counties and the 186MW Bingham in Somerset county in advanced development.

Image: First Wind closes financing for 148MW Oakfield wind farm project in US. Photo: courtesy of prozac1 /