First Wind Obtains Financing For Sheffield Wind Project In Vermont

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First Wind has obtained $76 million in financing for the company's 40 MW Sheffield wind project. With financing in place, First Wind is expected to continue on schedule with construction of the project, which is located in Vermont.

As part of the financing, First Wind closed a $71.3 million nonrecourse construction loan and a $4.5 million letter of credit facility for the project. KeyBank National Association served as the sole lead arranger for the financing. In addition to the financing, JPM Capital Corp. has executed a tax-equity financing agreement for up to $60 million with a subsidiary of First Wind.

When the project goes into commercial operation, JPM Capital will provide long-term capital to take out a large portion of the construction loan, with the remaining portion converting to a term loan with Keybank.

The renewable power generated by the project will be sold through power purchase agreements (PPA) to three Vermont utilities: the Burlington Electric Department, the Vermont Electric Cooperative Inc. and the Washington Electric Cooperative Inc.

During construction, it is estimated that the project will create about 200 jobs. Once it is operational, Sheffield will receive $520,000 in annual tax revenues. The general contractor on the project, RMT Inc., began construction on the project in mid-September and is hiring many Vermont-based businesses and subcontractors to work on the project, according to First Wind. The project is expected to be online and operating fall 2011.

SOURCE: First Wind

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