Maintaining momentum in its renewable energy investing, GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, has made an equity investment in Idaho’s largest wind power project. The almost half billion dollar portfolio of 11 wind farms under construction was developed by Exergy Development Group.
GE Energy Financial Services made the announcement at the American Council on Renewable Energy’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York City. The GE unit will own a majority equity interest in the Idaho Wind Partners project. Exergy Development Group will own a minority interest along with manager and operator Reunion Power. The wind farms will sell all of their power to Idaho Power Company under 20-year agreements. Once completed, the portfolio is expected to qualify for the Federal Treasury Grant program designed to stimulate renewable energy projects. Additional financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Through our investment in Idaho’s largest wind power portfolio, GE Energy Financial Services is putting millions of dollars to work to bring jobs and clean energy to Idaho and help the country meet growing demand for domestic, renewable sources of energy,” said Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services.
Construction company Fagen, Inc., initiated project construction earlier this month and expects to complete the wind farms located on farmland clustered near Hagerman and Burley by year’s end. Using 122 of GE’s 1.5-megawatt turbines, over 13,500 of which have been installed worldwide, these wind farms will have the capacity to generate 183 megawatts, enough to power approximately 39,700 average Idaho homes and—according to US Environmental Protection Agency methodology—avoid approximately 331,000 short tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of taking about 57,000 cars off the road. In addition to supplying the wind turbines, GE will provide seven years of operational and maintenance services to the project.
The project is expected to create approximately 175 construction jobs as well as permanent employment for operations and ongoing seasonal maintenance requirements. In addition to those employed directly, a wind project of this size would typically support the equivalent of over 2,200 full-time jobs in the United States for one year—about half of which would be in-state—and create 25 permanent jobs, based on a National Renewable Energy Laboratory model. Go to www.geenergyfinancialservices.com, or to www.ge.com.