TransAlta Renewables Announces Commercial Operation of Windrise Facility

Source: 12/2/2021, Location: North America

TransAlta Renewables Inc. has announced that its 206.4 MW Windrise wind facility (the “Windrise Facility”) achieved commercial operation on November 10, 2021. The Company also announced that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Windrise Wind LP (the “Issuer”), has priced a secured green bond offering by way of private placement for approximately $173 million (the “Offering”).

“This is our tenth wind facility in Alberta and is the first project to reach commercial operation out of the eight projects awarded through the second and third rounds of the Alberta Electric System Operator’s Renewable Electricity Program,” said Todd Stack, President. “The completion of the Windrise Facility during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates our team’s execution capabilities and commitment to delivering on our customers’ needs for clean electricity.”

The Windrise Facility is located roughly 20 km southwest of Claresholm on approximately 11,000 acres of privately-owned land. The project consists of 43 Siemens Gamesa 4.8MW turbines. The Windrise Facility is TransAlta Renewables’ largest wind farm to-date and has a 20-year offtake agreement with the Alberta Electric System Operator (the “AESO”).

The Offering will be secured by, among other things, a first ranking charge over all assets of the Issuer, subject to the security granted by the Issuer to the AESO for certain amounts that may become owing to the AESO in certain circumstances. The bonds will be amortizing and will bear interest from their date of issue at a rate of 3.41% per annum and mature on September 30, 2041. Payments on the bonds will be interest-only to and including December 31, 2022, with quarterly blended payments of principal and interest commencing on March 31, 2023. The bonds are aligned with the four-components of the 2021 International Capital Markets Association Green Bond Principles.

The Issuer intends to use proceeds of the Offering to, among other things, repay all amounts owing by the Issuer pursuant to an intercompany construction loan agreement entered into in connection with the Windrise Facility, make advances to TransAlta Renewables on a subordinated basis pursuant to an intercompany loan agreement, the proceeds of which will be used to finance or refinance eligible green projects, including renewable energy facilities and to fund a construction reserve account. Closing of the financing is expected to occur on or around December 6, 2021.

Windrise Facility Highlights:

- Average annual EBITDA of $20-$22 million;

- Total capital cost of approximately $280-$285 million;

- Long-term contracted cashflows with a high investment grade counterparty; and

- Extends the contracted duration of the Company’s cashflows

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