New York City, June 29, 2010 — GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, made an equity investment in Idaho’s largest wind power project. The almost half billion dollar portfolio of 11 wind farms under construction was developed by Exergy Development Group.
The GE unit will own a majority equity interest in the Idaho Wind Partners project. Exergy Development Group will own a minority interest along with manager and operator Reunion Power.
The wind farms will sell all of their power to Idaho Power Co. under 20-year agreements. Once completed, the portfolio is expected to qualify for the Federal Treasury Grant program designed to stimulate renewable energy projects. Additional financial details of the transaction were not disclosed
Construction company Fagen, Inc. initiated project construction earlier this month and expects to complete the wind farms located on farmland clustered near Hagerman and Burley by year’s end. Using 122 of GE’s 1.5-MW turbines, these wind farms will have the capacity to generate 183 MW, enough to power about 39,700 average Idaho homes.
In addition to supplying the wind turbines, GE will provide 7 years of operational and maintenance services to the project.
The project is expected to create about 175 construction jobs as well as permanent employment for operations and ongoing seasonal maintenance requirements. In addition to those employed directly, a wind project of this size would typically support the equivalent of over 2,200 full-time jobs in the United States for one year—about half of which would be in-state—and create 25 permanent jobs, based on a National Renewable Energy Laboratory model.
Wind comprises nearly 80 percent of GE Energy Financial Services’ renewable energy portfolio. The portfolio includes equity investments in 58 wind farms with a total capacity to produce 6.1 GW of electricity, as well as loans to 38 wind farms totaling 1.5 GW. Many of these investments have helped states meet their renewable portfolio standards, regulations requiring increased electricity generation from renewable sources.