General Electric provides funds for Invenergy gas project in Illinois

General Electric (NYSE: GE) said Dec. 12 that it is anchoring a lending group for longtime customer Invenergy LLC to finance construction of its 584-MW Nelson Energy Center in Illinois.

The plant will operate with GE’s 7F gas turbine technology, with support of a long-term GE maintenance services agreement.

GE Energy Financial Services served as the administrative agent, bookrunner and — through GE Capital Markets — as primary lead arranger of the senior secured credit facilities. GE Energy Financial Services, ING Capital LLC and Siemens Financial Services are providing construction and term loans for the plant, under construction in Rock Falls, about 120 miles west of Chicago. ING Capital served as joint lead arranger and documentation agent. Financial details were not disclosed.

Invenergy Development Co. LLC, a joint venture between an affiliate of Invenergy LLC and investment firm Stark Investments, is building the plant and plans to begin commercial operations to sell power into the PJM Interconnection wholesale market in early 2015. Invenergy Services LLC, an affiliate of Invenergy LLC, will operate and maintain the plant.

“This transaction reinforces GE’s unique ability to connect financing and technology to serve a common customer, expands our relationship with longtime customer Invenergy to lead arranging and grows our debt portfolio,” said Carl Peterson, a managing director and Debt Origination Leader at GE Energy Financial Services.

GE Energy Financial Services has made equity or debt investments in several Invenergy LLC power projects. Overall, GE Energy Financial Services holds equity and debt investments in power projects with a combined capacity of 30 GW.

In addition to two GE gas turbines, the plant will use two GE A10 steam turbines. Invenergy LLC has entered into a Site Change Agreement with GE to modify turbine and control systems. For example, GE is upgrading the units with GE’s Mark* VIe software controls technology, which improves operational performance.

Invenergy LLC also has entered into a Contractual Services Agreement with GE, under which it would provide long-term maintenance and engineering services for the plant’s GE equipment. GE will install OpFlex* model-based controls software, which automates operational adjustments to improve performance and availability to generate power.

In 2004, Invenergy LLC completed the acquisition of the partially constructed Nelson facility in Illinois. The facility, originally projected as a four-unit, 1,160-MW power project designed around General Electric 7FA gas turbine technology, will be completed as a 584-MW combined cycle facility configured as two 1×1 combined cycle units.

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.