Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA), acting through its subsidiary Thunder Ranch Wind Holdings LLC, has signed an approximately $330 million tax equity agreement with Goldman Sachs’ alternative energy investing group and GE Energy Financial Services for the 298 MW Thunder Ranch wind project in Oklahoma.
Under the agreement, the two passive investors will purchase 100% of Class B and Class C equity interests in the project, respectively, in exchange for their payment of the above purchase price. This interest will allow the investors to obtain, under certain conditions set by U.S. tax laws, a percentage of the fiscal benefits of the wind farm. In turn, EGPNA, through Thunder Ranch Wind Holdings, will retain 100% ownership of the Class A interests and, therefore, management control of the project.
The agreement secures the funding commitment by the two investors. The closing of the funding is expected to occur upon achievement of commercial operation of the 298 MW wind farm.
Thunder Ranch Wind Holdings LLC, which owns the project through the special purpose vehicle Thunder Ranch Wind Project LLC, is fully owned by EGPNA through the latter’s subsidiary, Enel Kansas.
Construction of the Thunder Ranch wind farm started last May, and the facility is expected to begin operations by the end of this year. The overall investment in Thunder Ranch amounts to approximately $435 million.
Once fully operational, Thunder Ranch will be able to generate more than 1,100 GWh annually, providing enough energy to meet the annual consumption needs of more than 89,400 U.S. households. Once operational, the wind farm will be eligible for renewable energy credits and will be supported by long-term agreements for the sale of power, including a recently signed agreement with Anheuser-Busch.