Cricket Valley seeks N.Y. approval for $1.5bn in financing for 1,000-MW project

Cricket Valley Energy Center LLC (CVE) on July 31 petitioned the New York State Public Service Commission for approval of the financing needed for it to construct, own and operate a combined-cycle, natural gas-fired, 1,000-MW facility in Dover, Dutchess County, New York.

The application noted: “The CVE Generation Facility will comprise three combined-cycle units, each consisting of a combustion turbine generator, a heat recovery steam generator (‘HRSG’) with supplemental duct firing, and a steam turbine generator. Auxiliary equipment will include a low nitrogen oxide (‘NOx’) natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler needed to keep the HRSGs warm during periods of turbine shutdown and to provide sealing steam during startups, and four diesel-fired blackstart generators, each with a maximum power rating of 3 MW. The four blackstart generators will be used to restart the Generation Facility in the event of a total power loss on the local or regional transmission grid.

AP Cricket Valley Holdings I, Inc., a New York Limited liability company, subsidiary of APNA Holdings GmbH, owns approximately 40% of CVE, AP Cricket Valley Holdings II, Inc., a New York Limited liability company, subsidiary of APNA Holdings GmbH, owns approximately 40% of CVE and MC CVEC Project Holdings I, LLC, a subsidiary of Marubeni Power International, Inc., owns approximately 20% of CVE.”

The company noted that commission authorization is necessary for an “electric corporation” to enter into indebtedness payable at periods of more than 12 months. Because CVE is a wholesale generator subject to lightened regulation, and will not serve any retail customers, the scrutiny applicable to monopoly utilities may be reduced, it added.

“By this Petition, Petitioner seeks the approval of the Commission to enter into debt instruments (including, but not limited to, a suite of loans, letters of credit and other debt facilities) (hereinafter, the ‘Debt Instruments’) in the amount not to exceed $1,500,000,000 (One Billion Five Hundred Million United States Dollars),” CVE wrote. “The debt will be secured by all of the assets of CVE. Repayment of the debt will be due approximately eight years after execution of financial closing documents.

“As with financings approved for other lightly-regulated entities operating exclusively in the wholesale market, captive New York ratepayers cannot be harmed by the terms of the contemplated financing described herein because Petitioner and its affiliates bear all the financial risk associated with these financing arrangements. Petitioner therefore requests, consistent with the Commission’s treatment of other financings for lightly regulated entities, that they be granted the authority to incur (and to guarantee, as the case may be) indebtedness in an aggregate principal amount of up to $1,500,000,000 (One Billion Five Hundred Million United States Dollars), and to grant liens on substantially all of its assets and properties in connection with such indebtedness or guarantees.

“Petitioner also requests that it be allowed the flexibility to substitute or change the providers of financing and to change the terms and conditions applicable to the financing (including without limitation the amounts, costs and maturity dates of such financing) and to enter into refinancings or subsequent financings in substitution or replacement of the Debt Instruments contemplated by the debt, without having to seek Commission approval, so long as the aggregate principal amount of such financing covered by the Debt Instruments is less than or equal to $1,500,000,000 (One Billion Five Hundred Million United States Dollars). This flexibility is needed so that Petitioner may quickly modify or refinance the Debt Instruments to take advantage of changing market conditions.”

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.