Construction starts on 105-MW Wind Works project in North Dakota

Wind Works Power (OTC: WWPW) has started construction on its 100% owned Thunder Spirit project, located in Hettinger, N.D.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) for 105 MW was signed with Montana Dakota Utilities (MDU) on Oct. 28, Wind Works Power said in a Dec. 23 statement.

The construction of Thunder Spirit Wind has started with building service roads and preparing the site for more extensive construction activities planned for the spring of 2014. Laurence Greene, Lead Developer for Thunder Spirit, said that on-site activities initiated in November, with road construction starting Dec. 6. The company plans to return and pick up where it left off next spring when weather permits.

Wind Works Power also said it has closed a $20m funding for its 100% owned Thunder Spirit Project. The financing transaction is with Aquila Capital, one of Europe’s leading independent asset managers in the areas of alternative and real asset investments.

Aquila Capital has agreed to purchase notes from Thunder Spirit Wind, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wind Works, in the amount of $20m. The agreement calls for repayment of the notes according to milestones with a time period of 18-24 months. It is expected that the notes will be repaid from the proceeds of the permanent financing that will be effected at the Commercial Operation Date of the project.

The project will deliver renewable energy to Montana-Dakota’s grid at the 230-kV Hettinger Substation. The project is scheduled to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“This financing is a critical step in moving Thunder Spirit forward. We are using these funds in order to commence construction and order turbines this year, both of which are requirements to be eligible for the federal production tax credits for Thunder Spirit,” said Dr. Ingo Stuckmann, Wind Works’ President and CEO.

Wind Works now operates 4.6 MW in Germany, in which it has a 49% ownership stake. In addition, Wind Works is developing: the 105-MW Thunder Spirit project in North Dakota; 50 MW of Feed-in Tariff contracted projects in Ontario with Capstone Infrastructure (an affiliate of Macquarie Infrastructure), plus an additional 20 MW on its own; 77 MW of near-term permitted projects in Germany; and a 320 MW project pipeline in the U.S. 

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.