J.P. Morgan Asset Management and First Wind announced that institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management have made a majority investment in two of First Wind’s projects. The investments include the Palouse Wind project in Washington and the Route 66 Wind project in Texas, which is currently under construction. First Wind will operate and manage both projects as the company continues to expand its third-party operations group.
“This transaction provides First Wind capital to continue our efforts to develop and build new clean energy projects,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “First Wind will continue to operate the projects, as we grow our operations capabilities. We will continue to focus on serving our local communities in Washington and Texas while generating cost-competitive clean energy to homes and businesses.”
As the largest renewable energy facility in Whitman County, the Palouse Wind project features 58 Vestas V100-1.8 MW turbines located near the town of Oakesdale, Washington. The project achieved commercial operations in December 2012, and the wind power from the project interconnects to the Avista 230kV Benewah-to-Shawnee transmission line. Palouse Wind harnesses enough wind to generate up to 105 MW for Whitman County and much of the Northwest – enough to provide power for the equivalent of as many as 30,000 homes in Eastern Washington. The energy company Avista is purchasing the power and delivering it to homes and businesses in the region.
Route 66 is a 150 MW wind project under construction in Armstrong and Carson Counties near Amarillo, Texas. Construction began in late 2013 and is slated to be completed in 2015. Once complete, the project will be comprised of 75 Vestas V110 turbines with a capacity of 2 MW each that will deliver clean energy to the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) power markets through the new CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission system. The project is expected to power about 49,000 Texas homes annually.