NJR Clean Energy Ventures buys wind farm project in Montana

NJR Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV), the unregulated clean energy subsidiary of New Jersey Resources (NJR), announced Oct. 23 the acquisition of its first onshore wind project.

Named for the Montana town it is adjacent to, the Two Dot wind farm will be located on 176 acres of rural agricultural land, about 93 miles east of the state capital of Helena. NJRCEV will invest approximately $22m and be responsible for constructing, owning and operating the wind farm, which will consist of six GE 1.62 MW wind turbines for a total capacity of 9.72 MW.

“The acquisition of the Two Dot wind project is a significant milestone for NJR Clean Energy Ventures,” said Laurence Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources. “As our first onshore wind project, it represents a viable long-term growth opportunity for our company and shareowners. We believe it is a sound investment that advances the planned diversification of our clean energy portfolio.”

The project was developed by OwnEnergy Inc., a developer of mid-size and community wind projects. In 2012, NJRCEV acquired an approximate 19% ownership position in OwnEnergy, with an option to purchase projects that fit its investment profile. This is the first OwnEnergy project purchased by NJRCEV.

NJRCEV will engage Mortenson Construction for the engineering, procurement and construction of the project. A leader in renewable energy construction, Mortenson has completed 124 wind projects, totaling over 13,000 MW since 1995. NJRCEV expects the wind farm will be operational by summer 2014.

The energy produced at Two Dot, as well as the renewable attributes, will be sold through a 25-year power purchase agreement with NorthWestern Energy, a natural gas and electricity supplier that serves over 673,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. NJRCEV expects the wind farm will qualify for federal production tax credits (PTC), which are based on kilowatt-hour output. All PTCs generated by Two Dot will be retained by NJR.

To date, NJRCEV’s approach has focused on commercial and residential solar project development in New Jersey. As a part of its clean energy strategy, NJRCEV will look to diversify its holdings to include small to mid-sized onshore wind projects, supported by long-term power purchase agreements, as well as other energy investments such as combined heat and power projects.

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.