51-MW Hancock Wind project in Maine due for startup in October 2016

Hancock Wind LLC, which has a nearly-completed wind farm in Maine, applied Sept. 20 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization related to a tax equity transaction that involves the sale of certain direct or indirect non-managing membership interests in Hancock Wind.

The project company is constructing and will own and operate a 51-MW wind farm in Hancock County, Maine. The sale would be to US Bancorp Inc. (USB) or an affiliate thereof and potentially one or more unidentified investors. Following the transaction, Investors will own all of the Class A non-managing membership interests in the applicant or in Hancock Wind Holdings LLC, applicant’s direct upstream owner. The Class A non-managing membership interests will provide Investors with only those limited veto and/or consent rights necessary for Investors to protect their economic interests in the applicant.

All of the Class B managing membership interests in either applicant or Hancock Wind Holdings will be indirectly owned by Terra Nova Renewable Partners LLC (TNRP), which currently indirectly owns 100% of the applicant. TNRP is owned (99%) and controlled by Novatus Energy LLC. Following the transaction, Novatus Energy, through TNRP, will continue to have day-to-day control over the applicant.

Subject to obtaining commission authorization, the parties intend to consummate the transaction in connection with commissioning of the facility, which is scheduled to commence in late October 2016. It is anticipated that the facility will achieve commercial operation during the fourth quarter of 2016.

The wind facility will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Emera Maine and operated by ISO New England (ISO-NE). Applicant is an EWG under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005. The commission has authorized it to sell energy, capacity, and ancillary services at wholesale at market-based rates.

The entire output of the facility is fully committed under two long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for firm sales of energy and capacity. There is:

  • a PPA with Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. for 37.5 MW for a 25-year term; and
  • a PPA with the City of Burlington, Vermont (acting through Burlington Electric Department) for 13.5 MW for a 10-year term.

The application noted that an affiliate entity is Blue Sky West LLC, an EWG that is constructing and will own and operate a 184.8-MW wind facility located in Somerset and Piscataquis counties, Maine. The commission has authorized Blue Sky West to sell energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates.

USB, through its subsidiary, U.S. Bank National Association, operates the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States, with banking offices in 25 states.

A project contact is: Steve Doyon, Novatus Management LLC, 767 Third Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10017, Tel: (631) 552-5901, sdoyon@novatusenergy.com.

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.