Gaelectric raises $18 million for transmission capacity for wind energy

Great Falls, Mont., September 24, 2010 – Renewable energy and energy storage group, Gaelectric, raised $18 million to book 960 MW of transmission capacity for its wind energy developments in Montana.

Gaelectric North America has announced that the funds raised have been placed on deposit with transmission system operators, Bonneville Power Administration and NorthWestern Energy, to book transmission capacity on their networks with power expected to flow in the period 2014 – 2016.

Announcing its fundraising and booking of transmission capacity, President of Gaelectric North America, Eamonn McGrath said, “The funding we have announced today will enable Gaelectric to advance the development of key sites in Montana with power delivered via the Bonneville Power Administration network and NorthWestern Energy networks.”

“States like Montana, which have high quality wind regimes and that have historically confronted sizeable transmission development barriers, will now reap that value in a shorter timeframe,” McGrath said. “A recent study undertaken by Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. experts in planning, policy and markets in California and the West, found that of 12 states located across the US’s western seaboard, Montana had the lowest levelised cost of energy production from wind. Furthermore, we believe the United States’ pursuit of a clean renewable energy future will soon break the log jam which will mean that the policy environment is going to catch up with wind energy developers’ expectations.”

The $18 million funds have been raised from European private equity sources in the form of a hybrid debt/equity instrument.

Commenting on interest in funding markets for the Gaelectric offer, McGrath said, “The fact that we have raised this finance against the backdrop of a difficult fundraising environment is a strong vote of confidence in Gaelectric’s overall vision and strategy. Gaelectric is the first wind developer in Montana to book transmission capacity at a scale, which will allow renewable power to be exported from some of Montana’s highest wind energy sites directly to markets in the Pacific Northwest. We see this investment as both an important endorsement of Gaelectric’s vision of developing wind projects and as an initiative which will start a process to unlock the tremendous wind resource of the mid-west.”

He said, “We have had significant interest in response to this latest fundraising round and have succeeded in forging strong relationships that will see us working with our funding partners to realize significant wind generation and other renewables projects that form the basis of our strategy and work program.”

Gaelectric is a group of companies, founded in 2004 with assets in Europe and the U.S. Each group company is active in different fields of renewable power generation and energy storage with experienced teams specialized in all aspects of project planning, permitting, finance, engineering and management. Gaelectric is active in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and North America (Gaelectric North America) where Gaelectric operates regional development offices.

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