GE unit helps finance Rockland deal for Elgin gas plant

GE Energy Financial Services said April 8 that it is providing a $50m loan to Rockland Capital LLC to support Rockland’s purchase of the 484-MW Elgin natural gas power plant in Illinois.

The Rockland investment fund announced in February that it was buying three Illinois natural gas plants, including Elgin, from a subsidiary of Ameren (NYSE:AEE).

GE Energy Financial Services is part of General Electric (NYSE:GE). GE Energy Financial Services is providing a $50m senior secured term loan that will be used in part to finance the Elgin acquisition and pay related fees and expenses. Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The Elgin investment marks our first opportunity to serve Rockland Capital as a lead lender, and underscores GE’s ability to lead both contracted and merchant power transactions,” said GEFS Managing Director and Debt Origination leader Carl Peterson.

GE Energy Financial Services holds equity and debt investments in power projects with a combined capacity of 30 GW, equivalent to the installed generating capacity of Norway. It has recently been involved in transactions for power plants in Illinois and Nevada.

Elgin is a peaking plant that sits on a 27-acre site Northwest of Chicago. The facility, which began operation in 2002, sells power into the PJM market. The station includes four simple-cycle natural gas turbines.

The operations and maintenance at Elgin are provided by ProEnergy Services with additional energy management services by Tenaska Power Services.

“We partner with key industry players like GE to free up capital for other projects and focus on asset optimization,” said Shane Litts, Partner at Rockland Capital.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in November 2013 signed off on the sale of three gas plants to Rockland. The sale is a companion to a deal, which closed in December 2013, for Ameren to sell its coal plants in Illinois to Dynegy (NYSE:DYN).

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.