Construction starts on 50 MW of new wind farms in Oregon

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC (DESRI) and Oregon Windfarms LLC (OWF) announced Jan. 14 the start of construction of five wind farms known as the Huntington Wind projects.

The projects are located 30 miles northwest of Ontario in Baker County, Oregon, and consist of five independent 10-MW facilities developed by OWF. All five projects have signed 20-year qualifying facility power purchase agreements with Idaho Power and will use five 2-MW wind turbines supplied by General Electric (NYSE: GE).

Senior debt financing for the projects was provided by KeyBank N.A. and CIT Bank N.A., alongside a commitment for tax equity financing from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. (USBCDC), a division of U.S. Bank. Following a financial close in mid-November 2015, construction began in late December and the projects are due to reach commercial operations in the fourth quarter of this year. Site Constructors Inc. will serve as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the projects.

“We are proud to reach this important milestone for the Huntington Wind projects,” noted Bryan Martin, managing director and Head of U.S. Private Equity at the D. E. Shaw group. “We appreciate the hard work of Idaho Power, OWF, the other equity investors, and our many other partners to bring these projects to financial close.”

Glenn Ikemoto, a member of OWF stated: “After nine years of development, we are grateful for the participation of a company with the capabilities and stature of DESRI in arranging the financing of the Huntington Wind Projects. We look forward to working with them as the projects move forward.”

“We are pleased to have had the opportunity to lead an important renewable energy financing for DESRI and the other equity investors to a successful close,” said Michael MacDonald, Managing Director of CIT Power & Project Finance. “This transaction demonstrates CIT’s ongoing commitment to leading transactions for key clients across the power sector and we look forward to building on this success in 2016 and beyond.”

“We are excited to act as joint lead arranger and joint syndication agent for the Huntington Wind projects,” said Andrew Redinger, managing director and head of KeyBanc Capital Markets’ Utilities, Power and Renewables Group. “This partnership shows our dedication to DESRI, the other equity investors in the projects, and the renewable energy sector as a whole, and we are excited to support these projects through construction and operation for many years to come.”

Dan Siegel, vice president of USBCDC, said: “This is the ninth project that U.S. Bank has financed in collaboration with DESRI. We are enthusiastic to continue that strong relationship and the additional clean energy that it brings.”

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments and its affiliates acquire long-term contracted renewable energy assets in North America. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm.

Oregon Windfarms is an independent greenfield developer of wind energy projects in Oregon and an affiliate of Energy Vision LLC. Energy Vision has completed development of over $700 million of projects in the Pacific Northwest over the past eight years.

Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with more than $65 billion in assets.

KeyBanc Capital Markets provides deep industry expertise and capital markets and advisory solutions to companies in targeted verticals which include Consumer & Retail, Healthcare, Industrial, Oil & Gas, Real Estate, Utilities, Power & Renewables, Diversified Industries, and Technology, through Pacific Crest Securities.

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.