EDF finances newly-completed 175-MW Pilot Hill wind farm in Illinois

EDF Renewable Energy’s 175–MW Pilot Hill wind project located in Kankakee and Iroquois counties in Illinois has closed structured equity financing from General Electric‘s (NYSE: GE) GE Energy Financial Services subsidiary and from MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET).

Pilot Hill, which has achieved commercial operations and is located about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, will power 100% of the energy needs of Microsoft Corp.’s Chicago data center, EDF noted in a Dec. 1 statement. Microsoft has committed to purchase the output under a 20-year power purchase agreement. This is Microsoft’s second and largest wind energy deal.

“Pilot Hill serves as another example of EDF Renewable Energy’s strategy to develop renewable energy projects with first tier equipment suppliers and contractors, and then invite the investment from longstanding financial partners,” said Jim Peters, Vice President, Project Finance for EDF Renewable Energy. “EDF RE will manage the wind project and bring our expertise in operations and maintenance through EDF Renewable Services to optimize long-term investment profitability.”

“Investing in Pilot Hill contributes to the growth of EDF Renewable Energy, an important worldwide GE customer, builds on strong commercial interest in the renewable energy sector, and helps Microsoft meet its environmental goals,” said Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.

Pilot Hill is made up of 91 General Electric 1.7-100 and 12 General Electric 1.85-87 wind turbines. EDF Renewable Energy had previously reported that Pilot Hill reached commercial operation on Sept. 26 of this year.

GE Energy Financial Services holds a portfolio of approximately 14 GW of wind power projects in operation or under construction and plans to continue to invest over $1 billion annually in renewable energy projects worldwide, including in projects that utilize GE’s wind turbine technology.

“MetLife is proud to support efforts that drive sustainability, and we’re pleased to be working with EDF and GE on the Pilot Hill Wind project,” said Steven J. Goulart, executive vice president and chief investment officer for MetLife. “The Pilot Hill project aligns with MetLife’s approach to investing for the long term and builds upon the $3.5 billion we’ve invested in renewable energy projects.”

EDF Renewable Energy is a leading U.S. independent power producer with more than 25 years of expertise in the renewable industry, covering all range of services from project development, management to operations and maintenance. 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. EDF Renewable Energy’s portfolio consists of 4 GW of developed projects with 1.9 GW of installed capacity.

GE Energy Financial Services, GE’s energy investing business, is based in Stamford, Connecticut, and holds approximately $16 billion in assets.

MetLife, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world.

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.