SAN DIEGO and NEW YORK, NY (February 19, 2015): A fund managed by BlackRock’s Infrastructure Investment Group (“BlackRock Infrastructure”) has purchased a 50% interest in the 200 megawatt (MW) Hereford Wind Project (“Hereford Project”), located in Deaf Smith County, Texas from EDF Renewables. BlackRock and EDF Renewables have also signed agreements to enter into similar partnerships on the Longhorn (200 MW) and Spinning Spur 3 (194 MW) projects upon completion later this year.
The Hereford Project will interconnect to the recently completed Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission infrastructure which enables delivery of long-term, clean, competitively priced power from the strong renewable resource regions of West Texas to the rest of Texas. The Hereford Project, comprised of a total of 104 turbines, manufactured by General Electric and Vestas, will generate enough electricity to power approximately 55,000 homes, and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 80,000 vehicles off the road. EDF Renewables will continue to provide ongoing operations and maintenance services for the facility, including 24/7 remote monitoring from its NERC compliant Operations Control Center, pursuant to a 20 year contract.
“We are pleased to partner with EDF Renewables to add the Hereford Project to our global renewables portfolio,” said Jim Barry, Global Head of BlackRock Infrastructure.
“We’re excited about the North American renewable infrastructure market and look forward to growing our relationship with EDF Renewables,” said David Giordano, head of the North American Renewable Infrastructure team at BlackRock Infrastructure. “This project is a great example of the growing set of investment opportunities in US infrastructure and represents our second investment in Texas.”
Tristan Grimbert, CEO of EDF Renewables, North America said “This transaction is a testament to our strong partnership with BlackRock Infrastructure and illustrates our philosophy of building long-term relationships with leading industry counterparties. BlackRock Infrastructure is also our investment partner in the 100MW Spearville 3 wind project and we look forward to new joint ventures with BlackRock over the coming years.”
BlackRock operates one of the largest renewable power investment platforms in the world with over $1.5 billion of AUM and commitments. The Hereford Project is the 16th transaction completed to date by BlackRock Infrastructure in the renewables space, bringing the total invested portfolio to approximately 615MW of wind and 178MW of solar projects located across the USA, Canada, Ireland, UK and France.
This transaction illustrates EDF Renewables’ strategy to develop, build and sell stakes in certain of its assets, with over 1,000MW of equivalent net capacity sold over the past three years.