Invenergy Wind has completed project financing including debt and tax equity for the under-construction 200.6MW Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center, which is located around 100 miles northwest of Lincoln in Nebraska, US.
Sovereign Bank, an affiliate of Banco Santander, Prudential Capital and Rabobank, acting together as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners, have arranged construction and term loans, while affiliates of GE unit GE Energy Financial Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and JP Morgan have provided the tax equity commitments.
Spread across 25,000 acres of private land in Antelope, Boone and Madison counties, the project will feature 118xGE 1.7MW wind turbines and generate enough electricity to power around 100,000 homes.
Having received approval from the Nebraska Power Review Board in October 2010, the company has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) in December 2012 and provides OPPD an option to purchase the project after ten years when tax credits expire.
Invenergy CFO Jim Murphy said that the company has completed project financing for its first wind energy generation project in Nebraska and is working with the OPPD to bring clean energy to the state.
OPPD, Nebraska Utilities and Nebraska Public Power District have also pledged to purchase power from the project once it begins commercial operations by the end of 2013.
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The project, which represents a $350m capital investment, is likely to create 300 construction jobs and will further contribute to the local economical growth through tax payments, salaries paid to local, full-time operations and maintenance staff members, and annual lease payments to landowners.
More than 230 skilled workers from Blattner Energy, the project’s general contractor, are currently constructing the Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center.
The US government’s extension of federal tax credits has paved the way for many wind power projects including Prairie Breeze to proceed as planned.
In January 2013, the US has extended the production and investment tax credits for wind projects, should they begin construction before January 1, 2014.