GE, investors put $247 million into wind farm powered by GE turbines

A group comprising GE unit GE Energy Financial Services, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., a unit of MetLife, Inc., and Union Bank, has invested nearly $247 million in Wind Capital Group’s recently commissioned 201 MW Post Rock wind farm.

Wind Capital Group, supported by its parent company, NTR plc, maintains an equity stake and serves as managing member of the project, located 80 miles outside Wichita, Kansas, in Ellsworth and Lincoln Counties. Additional details of the transaction were not disclosed.

In addition to providing 134 of its 1.5 MW machines GE is providing operations and maintenance services for Post Rock. The project is selling its electricity to Westar Energy, the largest electric utility in Kansas, under a long-term power purchase agreement. Post Rock is Wind Capital Group’s second facility in operation using GE’s wind turbines.

Together, the 201-MW Post Rock project and the 150-MW Lost Creek wind farm have a capacity to power about 120,000 Midwest homes.

Wind Capital Group estimates that this project created about 150 jobs, attracted more than $1.5 million in economic activity for local businesses during development and construction, provides a new source of revenue for rural Kansans and helps the state meet its renewable energy portfolio targets.

Post Rock is capable of powering more than 70,000 average homes and displacing about 815,000 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 145,000 average US cars off the road, according to Environmental Protection Agency methodology.

This is GE Energy Financial Services’ third investment in Kansas, following its 2009 investments in a 201 MW wind farm in Meridian Way and a 101 MW project in Smoky Hills. It expands the GE unit’s global wind portfolio, which comprises equity investments and debt financings for projects spanning 17 U.S. states and five countries, totaling almost 9,800 MW in operation or under construction.

CCA Capital, LLC served as financial advisor to MetLife on this transaction. Neither GE Energy Financial Services nor Union Bank used financial advisors.

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