New Projects, Wind

GE unit buys stake in Minnesota wind energy project

GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), has committed $156 million in common equity for a $305 million wind power project in Minnesota partially owned by Enel Green Power.

GEFS now owns 51 percent of the 200 MW Prairie Rose wind project currently under construction. Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power, committed approximately $149 million for a 49 percent ownership stake and serves as project manager. GE also signed an agreement with Enel Green Power North America to supply 119 of GE’s 1.68 MW wind turbines for the project.

The GE unit and Enel Green Power North America also raised approximately $190 million in tax equity to be provided by a syndicate led by J. P. Morgan, which includes Wells Fargo Wind Holdings LLC and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

Mortenson Construction expects to complete construction on the project later in 2012. The wind project will supply all of the output to Northern States Power Co., a unit of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Enel Green Power North America will have the option to purchase up to an additional 26 percent ownership stake from the GE unit later in 2012 and in 2013.

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