Deepwater Wind wraps up financing; Block Island Wind Farm is in construction

Deepwater Wind Block Island, a subsidiary of Deepwater Wind, has fully financed the Block Island Wind Farm, reaching financial close on more than $290 million in project financing provided by Mandated Lead Arrangers Societe Generale of Paris, France, and KeyBank National Association of Cleveland, Ohio.

With these major agreements, Deepwater Wind said March 2 that it has now secured all debt and equity funding needed to construct and operate its 30-MW Block Island Wind Farm, which is already under construction. The Block Island Wind Farm will be America’s first offshore wind farm.

“We’re ecstatic to reach financial close and thrilled to be partners with Societe Generale and KeyBank for this groundbreaking clean energy project,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We’re full speed ahead and moving ever closer to ‘steel in the water.’”

“We at Societe Generale are proud to be a partner of Deepwater Wind, the U.S. leader in offshore wind power,” said Alexander Krolick, Director of Energy Project Finance in the Americas at Societe Generale. “Deepwater has assembled a world class management team and experienced contractors to develop this landmark project. As the first offshore wind farm to be developed in the U.S., the Block Island Wind Farm represents a milestone that expands SG’s offshore wind sector footprint outside of Europe and further strengthens our extensive global track record of advising clients and arranging debt for offshore wind projects.”

“Deepwater has long been at the forefront of offshore wind development,” said Andrew Redinger, managing director and head of KeyBanc Capital Markets Utilities, Power and Renewables Group. “We are pleased to provide financing for the first offshore wind project to be fully financed in the U.S., and look forward to working with Deepwater on future, transformative projects.”

The financing from Societe Generale and KeyBank is in addition to more than $70 million in equity funding already provided by Deepwater Wind’s existing owners, principally an entity of the D.E. Shaw Group.

Alstom will supply five Haliade 150 6-MW offshore wind turbines for the project and has already completed the fabrication in Denmark of all 15 blades for the project.

Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. began fabrication work in January 2015 at its facilities in Houma, Louisiana, on the wind farm’s five steel jacket foundations. That work is scheduled to be complete in several months.

Rhode Island-based Specialty Diving Services is expected to begin additional fabrication work on components of the foundation substructures at Quonset, Rhode Island, in the coming weeks.

“Steel in the water” is planned for this summer, when all five foundations are scheduled for installation off the Block Island coast. The project will be in-service in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Deepwater Wind is led by a veteran team with extensive experience in developing renewable-energy projects. The company is actively planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple East Coast markets located 15 or more miles offshore, including New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey as well as deep waters projects on the U.S. West Coast.

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.