Allianz invests in newly-completed, 400-MW Grande Prairie wind project

Allianz Global Investors announced Dec. 21 that it has made an investment of over $400 million on behalf of its clients into the Grande Prairie Wind project, which is a 400-MW wind farm in Holt County, Nebraska.

Allianz said this is the largest wind energy project in the state’s history and is owned by BHE Renewables, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. This represents the first project in the state for BHE Renewables. This is also the first infrastructure debt renewable energy investment made by Allianz in the U.S. market. The project went online this past fall.

The financing consisted of unlisted bonds with a 20-year term that were privately placed with U.S. and European investors via Allianz’s established infrastructure debt platform. BHE Renewables will use the proceeds to reimburse the costs of the construction.

Paul David, Head of Americas, Infrastructure Debt at Allianz, said: “We are proud to complete our first private infrastructure debt investment in the US renewable energy space with a milestone project sponsored by BHE Renewables. GPW is an excellent showcase of how AllianzGI can deliver value-added solutions to infrastructure Sponsors through its established institutional platform. BHE Renewables was able to tailor the structure to their goals and close the financing under an expedited timetable through a one-stop-shop funding solution that matches the investment mandate of our long-term infrastructure investor-clients in the pensions and life Insurance industries.”

Allianz has been a leading provider of institutional infrastructure debt solutions to the European market since 2013 and entered the U.S. market in 2015. With the achievement of the financial close for Grande Prairie Wind (GPW), the Allianz infrastructure debt platform has now made close to $2 billion of investment commitments to infrastructure assets in the U.S. over a period of 18 months, with more expected to follow.

BHE Renewables announced in April 2015 plans to start the construction of GPW. The project has a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with the Omaha Public Power District.

In addition to providing debt finance, the Allianz group has two other initiatives contributing to the growth of renewable energy in the U.S. Allianz Capital Partners manages the provision of tax equity for wind farms and, to date, has committed over $700 million in the U.S. Allianz Risk Transfer provides an innovative risk management solution for hedging wind volume risks for wind farms and has successfully executed Proxy Revenue Swaps with several counterparties in the U.S.

Allianz Global Investors is a diversified active investment manager with 25 offices worldwide.

BHE Renewables is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 2012, BHE Renewables has invested extensively in solar, wind, geothermal and hydro projects. As a long-term owner of assets, the company’s operating wind projects include:

  • the 300-MW Jumbo Road project near Hereford, Texas;
  • the 168-MW Pinyon Pines I and 132-MW Pinyon Pines II projects located near Tehachapi, California;
  • the 81-MW Bishop Hill II project in Henry County, Illinois; and
  • the 400-MW Grande Prairie project in Holt County, Nebraska.
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.