Pattern closes financing, begins construction on 150-MW wind project in Indiana

Construction is ramping up at the Amazon Wind Farm, and Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) on May 4 announced the closing of financing on the 150-MW Amazon Wind Farm (also called Fowler Ridge) project located in Benton County, Indiana.

The project has entered into a 13-year power purchase agreement with Amazon to supply electricity to the electric grids that service Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) datacenters. Upon completion, the project is expected to generate approximately 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually.

“The Amazon Wind Farm project has successfully closed financing and is moving ahead on schedule,” said Mike Garland, President and CEO of Pattern Development. “We look forward to helping Amazon power its customers’ businesses with domestic clean energy harnessed from the winds of Indiana. We are now working with Amazon, Google and Walmart, demonstrating that America’s leading corporations are increasingly investing in, or buying power from, non-polluting energy sources like wind power. We see this growing trend driving the development of more new projects.”

The Amazon/Fowler Ridge project will utilize 65 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines with ‘Made in America’ components. The turbine blades are being manufactured at the Siemens factory in Ft. Madison, Iowa, and the nacelles are being assembled at the Siemens facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. The turbine towers will be sourced from Michigan and Wisconsin. Transformers for the project will be manufactured at the Siemens facility in Richland, Mississippi.

“Siemens is proud that our ‘Made in America’ wind components will be used at the Amazon Wind Farm. Wind power is an increasingly important part of our nation’s energy mix, and this project is part of a growing trend we see in the U.S. of technology companies and leading corporations investing in wind power,” said Jacob Andersen, CEO Onshore Americas, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division.

This project is expected to start generating power in the fourth quarter of 2015. Mortenson Construction will manage construction of the project. Local contractors will be utilized during construction and operations.

“We’re delighted to partner once again with Pattern Development on our 13th project together and to help bring a substantial number of jobs to the Benton County area,” said Tim Maag, vice president and general manager of Mortenson Construction’s Wind Energy Group.

Pattern Energy Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGI) (TSX: PEG) (Pattern Energy) separately announced on May 4 its acquisition of this project from Pattern Development. Upon completion of the project, Pattern Energy will have an owned interest of 116 MW and it is expected that institutional tax equity investors will acquire the balance. Pattern Energy acquired the Amazon Wind Farm/Fowler Ridge project for a total cash funding commitment of approximately $127 million, a portion of which will be used to pay down construction debt upon the completion of construction. The acquisition will be funded from available cash and credit facilities.

Acquisition highlights for Pattern Energy include:

  • Adds 116 MW, expanding total owned capacity to 2,112 MW upon completion
  • Increases portfolio to 16 wind power facilities, including three projects it has agreed to acquire
  • 13-year power purchase agreement (which can be extended up to 20 years) with Amazon for 100% of the expected output

“We have now surpassed the two gigawatt milestone in our portfolio, achieving growth of more than 100% in our owned capacity since the IPO,” said Mike Garland, President and CEO of Pattern Energy. “We have announced four acquisitions in the past month, demonstrating our commitment to grow the portfolio with high-quality, fully-contracted power facilities. We’re pleased to work with Amazon on our first wind project in Indiana.”

Pattern Energy has rights of first offer to Pattern Development’s project development pipeline, which includes approximately 4,500 MW of wind and solar projects. Projects are added to Pattern Energy’s list of identified Right of First Offer (ROFO) projects when they reach identified milestones, such as when a project has executed a power purchase agreement.

Pattern Energy has a portfolio of 16 wind power facilities, including three projects it has agreed to acquire, with a total owned interest of 2,112 MW, in the United States, Canada and Chile that use proven, best-in-class technology. Pattern Energy’s wind power facilities generate stable long-term cash flows in attractive markets and provide a solid foundation for the continued growth of the business.

Pattern Development is a leader in developing renewable energy and transmission assets. With a long history in wind energy, Pattern Development’s highly-experienced team has developed, financed and placed into operation more than 3,500 MW of wind power projects. Pattern Development has offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, New York, Toronto, Santiago, Chile, and Tokyo, Japan.

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.