E.ON unit completes financing for Illinois wind project

E.ON Climate & Renewables North America (EC&R) said June 4 that it has lined up $150m of institutional equity financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch in exchange for a partial interest in its 150-MW Pioneer Trail wind project in Illinois.

The project, located in Ford and Iroquois counties, Ill., is located 4 miles west of Paxton and consists of 94 GE 1.6 MW turbines providing more than 150 MW of power—enough to supply clean power to more than 45,000 households in the central Illinois region using North American made turbines, blades and towers, E.ON Climate & Renewables said in a news release.

EC&R is responsible for the E.ON group’s renewable energy and environmental protection activities around the world. Pioneer Trail actually entered operation in December 2011, an EC&R spokesperson said June 4.

This project is expected to generate more than $29m in local taxes, pay $8m in local salaries, and earn landowners more than $50m. Pioneer Trail is the 15th operational wind project in North America for EC&R, giving the company more than 2,200 MW online.

“Our investment in the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm is another step in Bank of America’s 10-year, $20 billion environmental business commitment,” said Todd Karas, president of Banc of America Public Capital Corp., which includes BofA Merrill’s Renewable Energy Finance group.

In June 2011, three generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives, serving 21 Illinois electric cooperatives and their 540,000 members, announced that they will be purchasing 40 MW of wind energy from Pioneer Trail, according to a 2011 news release from Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.