enXco, an EDF Renouvelables Company (Paris: EEN) announces it has closed financing on its 205.5 megawatt Lakefield Wind Project located in Jackson County, Minnesota.
Dexia Credit Local and Societe Generale led the club debt financing which included lenders Cobank, Banco Santander, Helaba, and Lloyds TSB. The financing includes a construction plus a 15-year term loan; and a bridge loan to the ITC cash grant from the US Department of Energy, and ancillary credit facilities. Union Bank, N.A., and MetLife are providing a portion of the construction facilities. CP Energy Group served as MetLife’s financial advisor.
The permanent financing of Lakefield Wind Project is structured as a leveraged lease whereby Union Bank and MetLife have committed to purchase the project at the start of commercial operations and lease it back to enXco. enXco will continue to manage and operate the wind project under long-term agreements with enXco Service Corporation, and retains an option to purchase back the facility.
“It is with great pleasure that we close on this financing and to be working again with our relationship lenders and equity partners,” said Jim Peters, vice president – project finance for enXco. “This leveraged lease transaction represents the largest in the US with commercial lenders and further demonstrates the performance of enXco’s project finance group, who with this latest transaction have now closed $3.5 billion of financing facilities. We extend our gratitude to our financial partners, and recognize their dedication to this project and to enXco.”
Lance Markowitz, senior vice president, manager – leasing and asset finance division at Union Bank commented, “It is our pleasure to work with the enXco team in structuring the lease financing for this outstanding project. The Lakefield lease demonstrates the complementary benefits of the lease structure toward adding value and enhancing capital available to the wind industry.”
“enXco is a leader in innovative financial structures,” stated Michael Midden, director and co-head of energy project finance at Dexia Credit Local. “The lenders are pleased to work in this tradition with enXco in support of the Lakefield Project.”
Construction on the Lakefield Wind Project commenced in late September 2010 and is on schedule to be fully operational in the Fall of 2011. Developed by enXco, the project consists of 137 GE 1.5 megawatt turbines with the capacity to generate clean renewable energy for more than 68,000 homes. Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) will purchase the power generated under a 20-year power purchase agreement. This marks our second wind project to develop and build with IPL – the 106 MW Hoosier Wind Project in Benton County Indiana began delivering electricity in November 2009.
Lakefield Wind Project represents enXco’s ninth wind project developed in Minnesota for a total of 914.5 MW and also the largest wind energy project in Minnesota since enXco’s Fenton Wind Project in 2007.