Financing lined up for CPV Woodbridge, construction start imminent

Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), GE Energy Financial Services and ArcLight Capital Partners have closed financing for the $842m CPV Woodbridge Energy Center, a gas-fired, 700-MW power plant in New Jersey.

GE is providing financing, advanced power generation technology and services for the facility, located in Woodbridge, N.J. The project is owned by Competitive Power Ventures, ArcLight Capital Partners and Toyota Tsusho and will be operated by an affiliate of co-owner ArcLight. It is expected to sell its capacity through 15-year Standard Offer Capacity Agreements (SOCA) with New Jersey utilities, and energy through a hedge, said CPV in a Sept. 20 statement.

The CPV Woodbridge project will help turn the site of a former chemical plant into a productive cleaner power generation facility. Construction on the project begins this quarter and it is expected to enter commercial operation as soon as the first quarter of 2016.

“Land reclamation, environmental benefits, strong community acceptance, a powerful economic impact and labor support: This project is what smart energy development looks like in 2013,” said Gary Lambert, president of Competitive Power Ventures.

GE Energy Financial Services served as the administrative agent, and — through GE Capital Markets — as the primary lead arranger and bookrunner to anchor $561m in senior secured credit facilities. GE Energy Financial Services and nine banks are providing the credit facilities.

GE to provide turbines and plant services

GE’s Power & Water business is providing turbine technology as well as engineering services for the 700-MW project. GE also will support the long-term availability of the CPV Woodbridge Energy Center through a 16-year contractual services agreement (CSA).

“We have a long relationship with GE, a proven company that provides the full scope of project needs, from financing to equipment and services,” added Lambert. “GE’s advanced, highly efficient and flexible combined-cycle technology will help us provide one of the most competitive energy sources to New Jersey’s ratepayers.”

Included in the project’s $260m GE equipment and services order is the company’s FlexEfficiency 60 combined-cycle engineered equipment package. The package comprises two, fast-start 216-MW 7F 5-series gas turbine generators, one D-11A steam turbine generator in a “2×1” configuration and two duct-fired, triple-pressure reheat heat recovery steam generators. It also includes the CSA.

“GE can uniquely offer customers financing, generating equipment and services on a large scale,” said Vic Abate, president and CEO — Power Generation Products for GE Power & Water. “This package will help ensure the success of the CPV Woodbridge Energy Center, meet the affordable energy needs of New Jersey residents and support manufacturing jobs.”

GE’s two fast-start 7F-5 gas turbines will be manufactured in Greenville, S.C., while the D-11A steam turbine and three electric generators will be made in Schenectady, N.Y. GE’s 7F-5 gas turbine is a reliable, fast-ramping machine with high efficiency, low emissions and low turndown capability to support the integration of renewables.

The project debt that GE Capital Markets arranged is the first sizeable project financing of a greenfield, partial-merchant power project to be broadly syndicated in the traditional project finance bank market in many years. The debt syndication was oversubscribed, reflecting the project’s strong fundamentals, the parties noted. 

Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., with offices in Braintree, Mass., and San Francisco, Calif, Competitive Power Ventures currently has 5,000 MW of conventional generation projects in various stages of development across North America. The company’s Asset Management division has ramped up to more than 4,700 MWs of natural gas generation and wind power under management. CPV Renewable Energy is currently developing 1,300 MW of wind projects across North America.

ArcLight is one of the leading private equity firms focused on North American energy infrastructure assets. 

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.