First Wind finances 148-MW Oakfield project in Maine

First Wind announced May 1 that it has closed on the financing for its 148-MW Oakfield Wind project in Aroostook County, Maine.

With financing in place, First Wind will continue on schedule with construction that began in late 2013, with commercial operations expected in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“We are very pleased to close the financing for our Oakfield Wind project,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “By securing financing, we will be able to continue construction activities on our sixth wind project in Maine.”

The financing package for the combined wind farm and generator lead, with a total construction cost of approximately $369m, includes a $237m construction loan and $132m of equity contribution. KeyBank National Association (NYSE: KEY) served as the joint lead arranger and administrative agent on the construction loan.

“We are very pleased to have played a leading role in First Wind’s financing of the Oakfield project,” said Andrew Redinger, managing director and head of KeyBanc Capital Markets Utility, Power & Renewable Energy practice.

Vestas will supply 48 of its V-112 turbines with a capacity of 3.075 MW each to the Maine project. Construction commenced in late 2013 and so the Oakfield project will qualify for the federal wind energy Investment Tax Credit. The power that will be generated by the Oakfield Wind project is contracted to be sold to customers of four Massachusetts utilities as part of a 15-year contract.

Once complete, the Oakfield project will increase the total capital expenditures made by First Wind for wind projects sited in Maine to over $1.25bn. The company currently has five operational wind projects in Maine including: the 42-MW Mars Hill Wind project in Aroostook County; the 83-MW Stetson Wind I and II projects in Washington County; the 60-MW Rollins Wind project in Penobscot County; and the 34-MW Bull Hill Wind project in Hancock County.

First Wind also has three wind projects in advanced development including: the 51-MW Hancock Wind project in Hancock County; the 48-MW Bowers Wind project in Penobscot and Washington counties; and the 186-MW Bingham Wind project in Somerset County.

Based in Boston, First Wind is operating or building renewable energy projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawaii, with combined capacity of nearly 1,300 MW.

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.