World-Class Hawaiian Wind Farm, Southern Most in the US, Financed by GE Energy Financial Services
GE Energy Financial Services announced today that it is financing the construction and operation by Tawhiri Power LLC of the southern–most wind farm in the United States. Powered by strong prevailing trade winds, the 21–megawatt Pakini Nui Wind Project is at South Point, one of the world's windiest habitable locations, on the island of Hawaii (the "Big Island").
GE Energy Financial Services is providing debt and equity financing during the project's development, construction and operation. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
The wind farm will annually produce electrical energy estimated to be sufficient for more than 10,000 homes and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 22,000 tons per year, compared with equivalent fossil fuel generation. As a result of the Pakini Nui facility, the Big Island's 300 megawatts of generating capacity will increase an estimated seven percent, adding increased system reliability and reserves, and reducing the island's imported fossil fuel dependency by about 160,000 barrels per year.
Hawaii's renewable portfolio standard requires each utility to derive 20 percent of its net electricity sales from renewable energy sources by 2020. The power purchaser for this project is Hawaii Electric Light Co.
"This transaction helps oil–dependent Hawaii meet its renewable energy target in the spirit of GE's ecomagination initiative, broadens our geographic footprint and supports Tawhiri's vision of a best–in–class wind farm," said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of GE Energy Financial Services' renewable energy team. Ecomagination is GE's initiative to help its customers meet their environmental challenges.
The transaction is the 15th wind farm equity investment commitment for GE Energy Financial Services, bringing the total capacity of its wind holdings globally to 550 megawatts. GE Energy will supply 14 of its 1.5–megawatt wind turbines to the project, expected to become operational in early 2007. Construction of the Pakini Nui facility began in mid–August with the demolition of the old power substation, grading of access roads and transportation of turbine tower components to the site.
The project's owner and developer, Tawhiri Power LLC, named after the mythological Maori god of winds, is a subsidiary of Apollo Power Corp. Apollo helped pioneer wind energy development at South Point starting in the early 1980s. Apollo CEO Tony Pace said, "GE Energy Financial Services provided a creative financial solution to develop this project under a very tight time frame. Together with GE, we are very pleased to work with the Hawaiian Electric Company and to provide the people of Hawaii County the benefits of this indigenous, renewable energy resource."
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Janet Brown, GE Energy Financial Services
Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications
Office: +1–212–279–3115, extension 203
Caption for accompanying photo: GE Energy Financial Services is financing the construction and operation by Tawhiri Power LLC of the southern–most wind farm in the United States. This digital simulation by Wind Engineers, Inc. shows the 21–megawatt Pakini Nui Wind Project at South Point on the island of Hawaii.