J.P. Morgan Asset Management Buys Majority Stakes In Two First Wind Projects


J.P. Morgan Asset Management has acquired majority ownership in two of First Wind's projects: the Palouse Wind project in Washington and the Route 66 project in Texas. Financial details were not disclosed.

First Wind says it will operate and manage both projects as the company continues to expand its third-party operations group.

"Attracting strong investors such as those advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management reinforces that First Wind is building high-value, financially viable projects," says Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind.

Located in Whitman County, Wash., the 105 MW Palouse Wind project features 58 Vestas V100-1.8 MW turbines and achieved commercial operations in December 2012. Energy company Avista purchases the project's output.

Route 66 is a 150 MW wind project under construction in Armstrong and Carson counties, Texas. Construction began in late 2013 and is slated to be completed in 2015. Once finished, the project will feature 75 Vestas V110 turbines with a capacity of 2 MW each. The wind farm will deliver clean energy to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas power markets through the new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission system.

"We are very excited to add the Palouse and Route 66 wind projects to the list of assets we advise and establish a partnership with First Wind on behalf of our clients," says J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Matt LeBlanc. "These are high-quality projects, exhibiting solid financial and operating fundamentals, that we anticipate will produce stable and growing yields and total returns for our investors over the long term."

First Wind notes this agreement with J.P. Morgan Asset Management is a separate transaction completed prior to the announcement that SunEdison and its yeildco unit plan to acquire First Wind. That $2.4 billion agreement is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015, subject to usual and customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

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