GE, Citi help with financing of 30-MW Block Island offshore wind project

General Electric (NYSE: GE) unit GE Energy Financial Services and Citi on Oct. 11 announced the closing of tax equity financing on Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind farm in the United States.

“An innovative project takes thoughtful and hard-working partners to navigate all of the ‘first mover’ considerations. We couldn’t have asked for better institutions to partner with than Citi and GE,” said Bryan Martin, Chairman of the Board of Deepwater Wind and Managing Director of D.E. Shaw & Co. LP.

“We’re very proud that two world-class, U.S. companies have chosen to invest in America’s first offshore wind farm,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “Their backing is a testament to the significance of this project and the strength of the American offshore wind industry.”

Deepwater Wind completed construction on the 30-MW Block Island Wind Farm in August, and commercial operations are expected to begin in November. The role of the D.E. Shaw group, principal owner of Deepwater Wind, remains unchanged with the addition of the two tax equity investors. GE Renewable Energy is the project’s turbine supplier, providing the five, 6-MW Haliade wind turbines for the project, which is located roughly three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I.

Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and Head of U.S. Renewables at GE Energy Financial Services, said: “The Block Island Wind Farm is a landmark project in the U.S. renewables market that GE is proud to support with capital investments and advanced wind energy technology.”

“Citi is proud to partner with GE, D.E. Shaw and Deepwater Wind to support this innovative project,” said Marshal Salant, Global Head of Alternative Energy Finance at Citi. “The Block Island Wind Farm offers a great example of Citi’s commitment to sustainable growth and to financing the development of clean renewable energy infrastructure.”

This transaction contributes to Citi’s 2015 announced goal to lend, invest and facilitate a total of $100 billion over ten years to activities that reduce the impacts of climate change and create environmental solutions that benefit people and communities, Salant noted.

In addition to the turbines, GE Renewable Energy’s offshore wind business is providing long-term services and maintenance for the project. The Block Island Wind Farm is GE Energy Financial Services’ second offshore wind investment this year, building upon the company’s $12 billion renewable energy investment commitments in more than 18 GW of wind and solar projects.

Deepwater Wind is actively planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple East Coast markets located 15 or more miles offshore, including New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Citi, a leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.

GE Energy Financial Services invests in long-lived and capital intensive projects and companies. The firm has 35+ years of experience managing energy assets through multiple economic cycles, and a global portfolio that spans conventional and renewable power, and oil and gas infrastructure projects.

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.