Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC, announced that an affiliate has completed agreements to finance and construct its first wind farm, a 211 MW project 45 miles south of Lubbock, Texas.
The Stephens Ranch project, which represents the first of two phases that will total 377 MW, will use GE 1.7-100 turbines and be built by Wanzek Construction, with completion scheduled for late 2014. Affiliates of GE Energy Financial Services, Banco Santander and Citi have committed to invest tax equity in the project, and affiliates of Starwood Energy Group have committed 100% of the cash equity. Santander Bank, N.A. and Citi are also providing a non-recourse construction debt facility (including a letters of credit facility) totaling approximately $265 million. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
"For our first wind investment, we are pleased to have assembled a strong team of very experienced lenders, tax equity investors and contractors," said Himanshu Saxena, Managing Director of Starwood Energy Group. "We look forward to working together with the local communities to make this project a success."
"This is an excellent example of our value-add approach to well-structured power generation projects," said Bradford Nordholm, CEO of Starwood Energy Group. "We remain committed to this sector."
An investment affiliate of Starwood Energy Group acquired Stephens Ranch in August 2013 from Mesa Power, an entity owned by T. Boone Pickens.
"This transaction enabled us to combine our Texas wind energy investing expertise with the skills of our tax equity partners, Santander and Citi, to support Starwood Energy on this wind farm, a well-structured project using proven technology," said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and Head of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services.
"Citi is proud to support Starwood Energy Group to help make the Stephens Ranch wind project possible," said Marshal Salant, Managing Director and Head of Alternative Energy Finance at Citi. "We are committed to working with developers and investors such as Starwood and other partners to create innovative financing solutions to enable the construction of more clean energy projects like this."
"We are extremely pleased to support Starwood Energy Group in this important investment which reinforces Santander's commitment to the renewable energy space in the U.S." said Alberto Ramos, Managing Director and Head of Asset & Capital Structuring at Santander. "Santander's dual role as construction lender and tax equity investor showcases our ability to provide comprehensive financing solutions in the power industry to both financial sponsors and corporate franchises," added Jorge Camina, Managing Director of Project & Acquisition Finance at Santander.