Boston-based wind energy developer First Wind Holdings says it has closed a transaction with Canadian utility Emera Inc. for the companies to jointly own and operate wind projects in the northeastern U.S.
As part of the deal, First Wind and Emera created a new company, called Northeast Wind Partners, to invest in the projects. First Wind will retain 51% of the new company, and Emera has invested a total of $211 million to acquire the remaining 49%.
Emera will also make a $150 million loan to an intermediate subsidiary company of Northeast Wind Partners that will be repaid in five years. Emera will finance this transaction through existing credit facilities.
First Wind's 385 MW portfolio of wind energy projects in the Northeast, including eight operating projects in three states, have been transferred to Northeast Wind Partners. First Wind will serve as the managing partner and will continue to operate the projects.
Emera affiliate Emera Energy Services will provide energy management services. First Wind will exclusively manage the development business and, as such, continue to develop new wind projects in the Northeast. Once these projects meet certain eligibility criteria, First Wind will have the ability to transfer up to an additional 1.2 GW of new projects into the new joint venture.
According to First Wind, the completion of the joint venture could lead to up to $3 billion in future economic investment in the region in the coming years.