GE and Metlife support 175MW Pilot Hill wind power project in Illinois, US

1 December 2015 (Last Updated December 1st, 2015 18:30)

EDF Renewable Energy has closed structured equity financing for its 175MW Pilot Hill wind project in Illinois, from two American firms General Electric (GE) and Metlife.

EDF Renewable Energy has closed structured equity financing for its 175MW Pilot Hill wind project in Illinois, from two American firms General Electric (GE) and Metlife.

The project, which began commercial operations in September, was backed by GE through its unit GE Energy Financial Services.

Situated in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, the farm features 91 of GE’s 1.7-100 turbine models, along with 12 of GE 1.85-87 wind turbines.

The wind energy generating facility is supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement with Microsoft, and is expected to power the firm’s data centre in Chicago, US.

"The Pilot Hill project aligns with MetLife’s approach to investing for the long term and builds upon the $3.5bn we’ve invested in renewable energy projects."

GE Energy Financial Services renewable energy head and managing director Kevin Walsh said: "Investing in Pilot Hill contributes to the growth of EDF Renewable Energy, (an important worldwide GE customer), builds on strong commercial interest in the renewable energy sector, and helps Microsoft meet its environmental goals."

The power project is expected to result in reductions of around 365,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

EDF Renewable Energy Project Finance vice-president Jim Peters said: "Pilot Hill serves as another example of EDF Renewable Energy’s strategy to develop renewable energy projects with first tier equipment suppliers and contractors, and then invite the investment from longstanding financial partners."

The firm will be in charge of the project and carry out its operations and maintenance through EDF Renewable Services to improve its long-term investment profitability.

MetLife executive vice-president and chief investment officer Steven J. Goulart said: "The Pilot Hill project aligns with MetLife’s approach to investing for the long term and builds upon the $3.5bn we’ve invested in renewable energy projects."