ITOCHU Corporation and General Electric Company announced that they have completed the first transaction under their collaboration agreement by making a co-investment in the estimated $319 million CPV Keenan II wind farm under construction in Oklahoma.
GE Energy Financial Services has sold a portion of its $65 million preferred equity interest in the wind farm to Tyr Keenan II, LLC, an indirect subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation. This co-investment is the first transaction under the collaboration and cooperation agreement that GE and ITOCHU finalized in May to identify co-investment opportunities in renewable energy worldwide. ITOCHU and GE also retain the option to jointly invest an additional $100 million in partnership equity upon commencement of Keenan II’s commercial operation, expected in December.
GE Energy Financial Services originally invested in Keenan II, a 152-megawatt wind farm developed by CPV Renewable Energy Company, in February of this year. Located 12 miles southwest of Woodward, Oklahoma, the project will consist of 66 2.3-megawatt wind turbines spread over 8,000 acres, and is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 45,000 average Oklahoma homes and displace approximately 413,000 short tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions(1) -- the equivalent of taking nearly 72,000 cars off the road. The project has secured a 20-year power purchase agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company. The construction, led by Delaney Group, Inc., is on schedule. Major construction milestones include the development of access roads, laying of turbine foundations, developing a power collection system, substation, transmission line, meteorological towers and erection of the turbines. Operations and maintenance services have previously been contracted to NAES Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITOCHU and the world’s largest independent, third-party provider of power plant operations and maintenance services.
Wind comprises more than 80 percent of GE Energy Financial Services’ renewable energy portfolio. The portfolio includes equity investments in 58 wind farms with a total capacity to produce 6.1 Gigawatts of electricity, as well as loans to 38 wind farms totaling 1.4 Gigawatts. GE Energy Financial Services’ renewable energy investments reinforce GE’s ecomagination initiative, a program to help its customers meet their environmental challenges while expanding its own portfolio of cleaner energy products. GE Energy Financial Services' renewable energy investments have helped 20 states meet their renewable portfolio standards, regulations requiring increased electricity generation from renewable sources. GE Energy Financial Services holds a renewable energy investment portfolio of US $6 billion, working with a wide variety of developer and investment partners. The investments span wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal power generation projects.
ITOCHU, in its Frontiere 2010 medium-term management plan, is forging ahead with the development of new businesses in the Life & Healthcare area, which comprises medical and health-related businesses; the Infrastructure area, focusing on functional infrastructure and social infrastructure; the New Technologies & Materials area, mainly biotechnology, new materials, and clean technologies; and the Environment & New Energy area. Taking the initial letter of each business area and synergy, ITOCHU refers to these business areas as L-I-N-E-s. Along with the strategy, ITOCHU is set to aggressively pursue investment opportunities in the infrastructure area, including power generating assets utilizing renewable energy.