TransAlta to acquire Wyoming wind farm from NextEra

TransAlta Renewables (TSX: RNW) and TransAlta Corp. (TSX: TA) (NYSE: TAC) said that TransAlta Renewables, through a wholly owned subsidiary of TransAlta Corp., will acquire the economic interest in a 144 MW wind farm in Wyoming.

The deal is for approximately US$102m and is with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources LLC. The unnamed wind farm is fully operational and contracted under a long-term power purchase agreement until 2028 with an investment grade counterparty.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of December. At closing, the economic interest in the wind farm will be acquired by TransAlta Renewables from TransAlta in consideration for a payment equal to the original purchase price of the acquisition.

“The acquisition marks our first wind project in the Western United States and aligns with our strategy of growing our renewables platform and diversifying our presence in the region,” said Dawn Farrell, President and CEO of TransAlta Corp., in an Oct. 21 statement. “It positions us well for future opportunities in the U.S. wind space and demonstrates the benefits of creating TransAlta Renewables.”

TransAlta Renewables will fund the acquisition through a US$102m loan from TransAlta Corp. TransAlta Corp. holds about 80% of the issued and outstanding shares of TransAlta Renewables.

The project TransAlta would buy isn’t named in the TransAlta statement. The NextEra website indicates that the only wind project it has in Wyoming is the 144-MW Wyoming Wind Energy Center in Uinta County, which went commercial in 2003 and is made up of 80 1.8-MW Vestas wind turbines.

TransAlta Corp. is a power generation and wholesale marketing company focused on creating long-term shareholder value. TransAlta maintains a low-to-moderate risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States and Australia. TransAlta’s focus is to efficiently operate geothermal, wind, hydro, natural gas and coal facilities in order to provide customers with a reliable, low-cost source of power.

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.