CPV and GE unit secure financing on 785-MW Towantic gas plant in Connecticut

Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) and GE unit (NYSE: GE) GE Energy Financial Services announced recently they have closed financing on the 785-MW CPV Towantic Energy Center in the Western Connecticut town of Oxford.

This is CPV’s second successful project financing since being acquired by Global Infrastructure Partners in May 2015.

 The approximate $753m debt financing, led by MUFG Union Bank, N.A., Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, and CIT Bank, N.A., was arranged with a total of 16 lenders participating in the financing. The consortium of lenders is comprised of long-standing CPV relationship-based lenders as well as a few lenders for whom CPV Towantic represents their first investment in the U.S. power generation markets.

“We are grateful to the Malloy administration, the many Connecticut agencies involved and the scores of staff for all their hard work in reviewing and approving the CPV Towantic project,” said Gary Lambert, CPV President and CEO. “We’d also like to express our deep appreciation to our many supporters and the government of the Town of Oxford and neighboring towns that supported the project over the years for their input and hard work.”

Paul Buckovich, CPV’s CFO, noted, “The depth and breadth of support from the project finance lending community is a testament to CPV Towantic’s strong sponsorship by Global Infrastructure Partners and GE Energy Financial Services, its appropriately structured credit profile anchored by a seven-year capacity commitment with ISO-New England, and CPV’s proven track record of successfully developing highly efficient, advanced technology-based power generation facilities to meet market needs.”

David Nason, President & CEO of GE Energy Financial Services, added, “CPV Towantic represents a significant investment alongside a valued partner and is permitted to introduce GE’s advanced, high efficiency HA power generation technology to the New England region.”

CPV Towantic has obtained permits to be powered by two of GE’s 7HA heavy-duty gas turbines with a steam turbine and associated generators.

The 785-MW combined cycle plant will be able to provide the equivalent power needed to supply approximately 800,000 U.S. homes. GE’s 7HA technology provides the high power density, fuel flexibility, lower emissions and fast ramping to complement the intermittent nature of renewable energy, the companies said.

The plant will be fueled by natural gas from the Algonquin Interstate Pipeline and will utilize ultra-low sulfur distillate as a backup fuel.

Electrical interconnection will be at Connecticut Light & Power’s 115kV circuit between Baldwin Junction and Beacon Falls. Gemma Power Systems was selected as the Engineering Procurement and Construction contractor that will oversee construction of the project.

CPV Towantic was originally approved by the Connecticut Siting Council in 1999 as a 512 MW project, but was not built due to market conditions.

CPV entered into a partnership with GE Energy Financial Services in 2012 to advance the project and its competitiveness in the marketplace. In 2014, New England’s grid operator (ISO-NE) announced the retirement of approximately 10% of the region’s total electric generating capacity. With more expected in the years to come CPV Towantic is ideally-suited to help meet this growing need, CPV said.

“This is a great project and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Dave Roche, President of the Connecticut State Building Trades Council. “CPV is an excellent partner to labor on this and many other projects across the U.S.” 

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.