EDP Renewables seeks FERC okay on investors for two nearly-operational wind farms

Rising Tree Wind Farm III LLC and Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm LLC on May 21 requested Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of a tax equity transaction that involves the sale of certain indirect non-managing membership interests in these companies from EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPRNA) to JPM Capital Corp. (JPMC) and potentially one or more unidentified investors.

This transaction will occur in phases:

  • EDPRNA, the current direct owner of 100% of the membership interests in the applicants, initially will contribute all of its interests in Rising Tree III to 2015 Vento XIII LLC (Vento XIII), a newly created indirect subsidiary of EDPRNA, and the investors collectively will acquire up to 100% of the Class B non-managing membership interests in Vento XIII; and
  • EDPRNA subsequently will contribute all of its interests in Arbuckle to Vento XIII prior to commercial operation of Arbuckle’s wind farm.

Following the transaction, the investors will own up to 100% of the indirect Class B non-managing membership interests in the applicants, which will provide investors with only limited veto and/or consent rights necessary for Investors to protect their economic interests in the applicants. EDPRNA will indirectly own 100% of the Class A managing membership interests in Vento XIII and, as a result, will continue to have day- o-day control over the applicants.

The parties intend to consummate the Rising Tree III transaction closing as soon as possible following commercial operation of Rising Tree III’s wind farm, which is scheduled to occur in early June 2015. Therefore, the applicants requested commission action on this application on or before June 22.

  • Rising Tree III is constructing and will own and operate an approximately 99-MW (nameplate) wind facility located in Kern County, California. It is anticipated that the Rising Tree III Facility will achieve commercial operation in early June. The facility will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Southern California Edison (SCE) and operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). Rising Tree III will share ownership of certain common facilities necessary for the development and operation of the Rising Tree III Facility with its affiliates, Rising Tree Wind Farm LLC and Rising Tree Wind Farm II LLC, which own co-located generation projects. The output of the Rising Tree III Facility will be sold exclusively at wholesale to third parties under one or more interim bilateral agreements or directly into the wholesale market until January 2019, at which point the entire output of the Rising Tree III Facility will be sold to an unaffiliated third party under a long-term power purchase agreement.
  • Arbuckle is constructing and will own and operate an approximately 100-MW (nameplate) wind facility located in Murray County and Carter County, Oklahoma. It is anticipated that the Arbuckle Facility will achieve commercial operation in November 2015. The facility will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Oklahoma Gas and Electric and operated by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The entire output of the Arbuckle Facility will be sold to an unaffiliated third party under a long-term power purchase agreement.

In addition to Arbuckle, EDPRNA is affiliated with several entities that own or control generation in the SPP region. The one with a prospective power project is Waverly Wind Farm LLC, which is constructing and will own and operate an approximately 200 MW (nameplate) wind facility located in Coffey County, Kansas. It is anticipated that the Waverly Facility will achieve commercial operation in December 2015. The entire output of the Waverly Facility will be sold to Kansas City Power & Light under a long-term power purchase agreement.

JPMC is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., an international financial services company.

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.