GE Invests $117 Million in EDP Renewables’ Oklahoma Wind Farm and Additional $111 Million in Established Wind Farm Portfolio
GE Energy Financial Services, in partnership with Horizon Wind Energy -- owned by EDP Renewables -- is investing $117 million in an Oklahoma wind farm. Horizon Wind Energy’s Blue Canyon V wind farm is a 99 MW expansion of a 225-megawatt wind farm near the small towns of Lawton and Elgin in Comanche County and Apache in Caddo County in southwest Oklahoma. In operation since last month, this project was built with GE 1.5-megawatt turbines and supplies its power to the Public Service Company of Oklahoma under a 20-year contract.
“Through this transaction, GE Energy Financial Services is putting millions of dollars to work in an attractive wind project in rural America with a developer we know and trust,” said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services. “We look forward to continuing to work with Horizon, which can redeploy its capital to execute on its growth strategy and make other investments in the US wind industry.”
Horizon Wind Energy has estimated that this project can generate enough energy to power approximately 30,000 homes and avoid approximately 240,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of taking 30,000 cars off the road. This highly productive, utility-scale wind farm receives a production tax credit, an income tax credit for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced.
“These equity investments help us in continuing our growth and efficiently realizing incentives provided by the United States government,” said Gabriel Alonso, CEO of Horizon Wind Energy. “With partners like GE Energy Financial Services and its energy expertise and access to capital, EDP Renewables is targeting to invest over $4 billion in building new wind farms the next three years.
In addition to Blue Canyon, GE Energy Financial Services invested $111 million to join a previously closed transaction, Vento III, which consists of three wind farms, generating a total 604 megawatts: Rattlesnake Road (103 MW), in Oregon, west of Arlington in Gilliam County; Meridian Way (201 MW), in north central Kansas in Cloud County; and Pioneer Prairie (300 MW), in northeastern Iowa in Howard and Mitchell Counties.
GE Energy Financial Services and Horizon Wind Energy had also partnered in January 2008, when the GE unit invested $300 million in a 600 MW portfolio of Horizon Wind Energy’s projects spanning four US states.
Wind makes up nearly 80 percent of GE Energy Financial Services’ more than $4 billion renewable energy portfolio. The company plans to expand its renewable energy portfolio to $6 billion by the end of 2010, including investments in wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal power generation projects. This investment reinforces GE’s ecomagination initiative, a program to help its customers meet their environmental challenges while expanding its own portfolio of cleaner energy products.
EDP Renewables, parent company to Horizon Wind Energy, recently announced that they have targeted to devote approximately $4 billion to building new wind farms in the United States through 2012. Such investment will help create thousands of jobs to develop, build and operate the new projects, as well as to manufacture the equipment that will be installed in such projects. The target will build on the record amount of new capacity the company has already installed and has under construction in 2009, totaling 800 megawatts (MW) worth more than $1.5 billion of investment.