BlackRock-backed fund buys 50% of Hereford Wind Project in Texas

A fund managed by BlackRock’s Infrastructure Investment Group has purchased a 50% interest in the 200-MW Hereford Wind Project, located in Deaf Smith County, Texas, from EDF Renewable Energy.

BlackRock and EDF Renewable Energy have also signed agreements to enter into similar partnerships on the Longhorn (200 MW) and Spinning Spur 3 (194 MW) projects upon completion later this year.

The Hereford Project will interconnect to the recently-completed Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission infrastructure which enables delivery of long-term, clean, competitively priced power from the strong renewable resource regions of West Texas to the rest of Texas. The Hereford Project is comprised of a total of 104 turbines made by General Electric and Vestas. EDF Renewable Services will continue to provide ongoing operations and maintenance services for the facility, including 24/7 remote monitoring from its NERC-compliant Operations Control Center, pursuant to a 20 year contract.

“We are pleased to partner with EDF Renewable Energy to add the Hereford Project to our global renewables portfolio,” said Jim Barry, Global Head of BlackRock Infrastructure, in a Feb. 19 statement.

“We’re excited about the North American renewable infrastructure market and look forward to growing our relationship with EDF Renewable Energy,” said David Giordano, head of the North American Renewable Infrastructure team at BlackRock Infrastructure. “This project is a great example of the growing set of investment opportunities in US infrastructure and represents our second investment in Texas.”

Tristan Grimbert, CEO of EDF Renewable Energy, North America, said: “This transaction is a testament to our strong partnership with BlackRock Infrastructure and illustrates our philosophy of building long-term relationships with leading industry counterparties. BlackRock Infrastructure is also our investment partner in the 100 MW Spearville 3 wind project and we look forward to new joint ventures with BlackRock over the coming years.”

EDF Renewable Energy had announced on Jan. 22 that the Hereford Wind Project had reached commercial operation on Dec. 22, 2014.

BlackRock operates one of the largest renewable power investment platforms in the world. Hereford is the 16th transaction completed to date by BlackRock Infrastructure in the renewables space, bringing the total invested portfolio to approximately 615 MW of wind and 178 MW of solar projects located across the U.S., Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and France. Its team of 50 professionals is based in New York, London, Dublin, Paris and Zurich.

EDF Renewable Energy is a leading U.S. independent power producer with more than 25 years of expertise in the renewable industry. EDF Renewable Energy specializes in wind and solar photovoltaic with presence in other segments of the renewable energy market: biogas, biomass, hydro, marine energy and storage solutions. Its North American portfolio consists of 5.5 gigawatts of developed projects with 3.1 gigawatts of installed capacity throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. EDF Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles.

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.