Scout Clean Energy (“Scout”), a Colorado based renewable energy developer, owner and operator is pleased to announce the closing of construction financing and tax equity commitments for the 180MW Heart of Texas Wind Farm (“HTX”) located in McCulloch County, Texas. Scout is a portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners (“Quinbrook”).
HTX was recently acquired by Scout from RES (Renewable Energy Systems) Americas who originally developed the project as part of the second phase of the Rattlesnake Wind Farm which commenced operations in 2018 and shares a transmission line with the HTX. The project will utilize sixty-four (64) of the latest generation GE 2-MW platform wind turbines. HTX utilizes three types of 2-MW platform turbines each with different nameplate capacity and rotor size to optimize site production.
“Heart of Texas will provide zero emissions renewable power for both Texas industry and thousands of homes, as well as supporting up to two hundred jobs during construction and up to seven permanent jobs during operations,” said Michael Rucker, CEO and founder of Scout. “Heart of Texas is our third successive wind farm closing as an owner-operator and brings Scout’s owned portfolio of wind generation to 700MW.”
HTX has secured an offtake contract with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s Alternative Risk Transfer unit, in partnership with Nephila Climate. REsurety provided the risk analytics supporting the long-term offtake transaction. Construction financing of $255 million (including letters of credit) was provided by KeyBank as Administrative Agent, Rabobank and CoBank, ACB. GE Energy Financial Services (“GE EFS”) underwrote and committed a portion of the tax equity financing. For all three Scout projects in the U.S., GE has provided wind turbine technology and tax equity support.
“We are proud of the great work our Scout team has done with our project financing, construction and supply partners as well as important stakeholders in the local community to achieve another successful financial closing. The support of the teams at Quinbrook and GE Financial has also been instrumental in overcoming many of the development and financing challenges we faced along the way,” explained Rucker.
Scout has entered into a fixed-price balance-of-plant construction agreement with RES Americas Construction who is also completing construction work on Scout’s 300MW Ranchero Wind Farm also located in Texas. The asset management and post-construction operations will be undertaken by Scout.
“The Heart of Texas wind project is our 32nd renewable energy project in Texas, and we take great pride in bringing over 4,000 MW of clean energy to the state,” said Graham Reid, CEO for RES Americas. “We are delighted to support Scout Clean Energy’s mission to deliver reliable and low-cost renewable power to its customers.”
The project has tax incentive agreements in place with McCulloch County, McCulloch County Hospital District, and Lohn Independent School District. It is estimated that the county will receive approximately $36 million in tax revenue over the life of the project.
“That Scout has been able to accomplish so much in just over two years is a testament to our incredible team of experienced renewable energy professionals,” continued Rucker. “Heart of Texas is another important step in our rapid growth as a leading US wind developer, owner and operator and we expect to announce the closing of several more projects in the coming year.”
The Heart of Texas Wind Farm is expected to be operational by April 2020.
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