General Electric buys into Buffalo Dunes wind project in Kansas

General Electric (NYSE: GE) is investing common equity and supplying turbines for the 250-MW Buffalo Dunes Wind Project in Kansas, GE said April 8.

This transaction expands GE Energy Financial Services’ and Enel Green Power North America’s portfolio of co-owned wind projects. Last year, the companies invested in the 235-MW Chisholm View wind project in Oklahoma, and in the 200-MW Prairie Rose wind project in Minnesota. Both projects also feature GE wind turbines. The GE unit and Enel Green Power North America also invested in the 101-MW Smoky Hills wind farm in Kansas and the 63-MW Snyder wind farm in Texas.

GE Energy Financial Services now owns 51% of the Buffalo Dunes project, which is under construction southwest of Garden City, Kansas, in Finney, Grant and Haskell counties. Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power, maintains a 49% ownership stake, plus it retains an option to increase this stake to 75% if elected during certain periods in 2013 and 2014 and also serves as project manager.

In addition to capital, GE is supplying 135 wind turbines for the project and will provide operations and maintenance after completion. Alabama Power, a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), will buy most of the electricity from the project under a 20-year agreement. Project construction, managed by RES Americas, is expected to be completed by December.

“This project is a fresh example of how to harness the strong wind in America’s heartland to power the eastern United States with low-cost, clean electricity,” said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services. “It also showcases GE’s ability to provide both world-class technology and flexible financing structures, and advances our long-term partnership with renewable energy leader Enel Green Power.”

GE Energy Financial Services’ global wind portfolio now comprises equity and debt financings for projects spanning 17 U.S. states and four other countries totaling more than 10 GW in operation or under construction.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.