January 9, 2012 - NaturEner USA, LLC
San Francisco, California – January 9, 2012 – San Francisco, California-based NaturEner USA, LLC ("NaturEner"), a renewable energy company, announces that it has secured a $320 million construction loan with Morgan Stanley that will enable construction of the 189 megawatt (“MW”) Rim Rock wind power project. NaturEner has given full notice to proceed to its contractors and expects Rim Rock to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2012
Once the project has reached commercial operation, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (“SDG&E”) is expected to make a tax-equity capital contribution in the project of approximately $285 million, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions. The tax-equity investment has been approved by both the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”).
Jose M Sanchez-Seara, CEO of NaturEner, stated, “Rim Rock is an innovative project that is the result of tremendous effort not only from our team but also our partners at Morgan Stanley and SDG&E. We have been thrilled with the broad support we have received for Rim Rock from landowners, ratepayer advocates, the
The Montana-based Rim Rock project will generate 189 MW and, under a "Green Attribute Purchase and Sale Agreement," SDG&E will procure the renewable component of the Rim Rock output and use it to meet California's Renewable Portfolio Standard or "RPS" goal, which is now 33 percent by the year 2020. The tax-equity investment, a first for a California regulated utility, is a unique transaction designed to pass through to SDG&E's customers lower utility financing costs. Rim Rock's power will contribute about 3.5 percent of SDG&E's renewable portfolio per year.
Morgan Stanley is also the physical offtaker pursuant to a long-term fixed-price Power Purchase Agreement. Power from Rim Rock is expected to be shipped within the Western Interconnection, encompassing several western States and
MATL received financing from the Western Area Power Administration (“WAPA”), an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, under WAPA’s Transmission Infrastructure Program. This program was created to implement the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act provisions aimed at aiding or facilitating transmission projects that deliver power generated from renewable resources. MATL was acquired in October 2011 by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. Enbridge announced in November 2011 that it expects MATL to be placed in service in mid-2012.
Mr. Sanchez-Seara added, “The strong financial backing of the U.S. Department of Energy, carried out through WAPA, has enabled MATL which, together with incentives such as the Production Tax Credit, has allowed Rim Rock to proceed. We greatly appreciate the US Government’s support for renewable energy generation and the transmission lines that allow them to deliver the energy to markets across
About Rim Rock
Rim Rock is a 189 MW wind farm project located in Glacier and
About the Company
Glacier 1 has been in operation since 2008 and Glacier 2 since 2009. Since the first MWh was produced by Glacier 1, the Glacier projects together have generated more than 1,500 GWh of green energy, enough to power approximately 50,000 homes per year, and have offset nearly 900,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.
NaturEner Energy Canada Inc., an affiliate of NaturEner
NaturEner USA, LLC and NaturEner Energy Canada Inc. are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Spain-based Grupo NaturEner, S.A. which develops, owns, and operates renewable energy facilities in three different countries comprising mini-hydro, solar photovoltaic, and wind.
For additional information, contact Maria Luisa Beveridge at 415-217-5509.
Further information about NaturEner is available at www.naturener.net.