March 14, 2010
General Electric Financial Services (NYSE: GE) has taken a $65 million stake in a 152 mega-watt wind farm near Woodward, OK and plans on pursuing an energy purchase agreement for a proposed hydroelectric plant in British Columbia.
CVP Renewable Energy Co has began construction of its “CPV Keenan II” wind farm, with the goal of finishing the plant by December. The project has won a 20-year power purchasing agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co and is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 45,000 homes.
The General Electric unit has the option of investing $100 million more in partnership equity when commercial operations at the wind farm begin.
“Once completed, we have the opportunity to own a large chunk of the wind farm,” said Andy Katell, spokesman for GE Energy Financial Services. “We’re active across a wide range of renewable energy technology. In this country, most of our investment has been in wind because it’s a mature technology.”
The total cost of the plant will be $319 million, of which $212 million worth of financing has been funded by a number of banks.
David Downie, a professor at Fairfield University, commented to the press that General Electric is quickly becoming a leader in the turbine power industry, adding that GE’s bets on alternative energy are starting to generate real results.
“Behind that was real thinking about a marketing opportunity. More sustainable technology is definitely a part of that overall strategy,” he said. “This investment (in the Oklahoma wind farm) is important in this economic climate. In the long term, it makes financial sense.”