Scout has closed construction financing and tax equity commitments for the 130 MW Bitter Ridge Wind Farm (“Bitter Ridge”) in Jay County, Indiana.
Bitter Ridge has been developed by Scout and will be owned and operated long-term by Scout’s dedicated asset management team. Scout is a portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners (“Quinbrook”), a specialist investment manager focused exclusively on lower carbon and renewable energy infrastructure investment and operational asset management in the US, UK and Australia.
“Bitter Ridge is Scout’s second project to close construction financing this year and follows the recent successful closing of our Heart of Texas project and the commencement of operations at Ranchero. We anticipate that Bitter Ridge will be fully operational by September of next year,” said Michael Rucker, CEO and founder of Scout. “Bitter Ridge is also the second greenfield project that the Scout team has developed from inception and it will support up to two hundred jobs during construction and as many as five permanent jobs once operational. Bitter Ridge brings Scout’s operational and in construction wind portfolio to over 900MW. This is quite an achievement by the combined Quinbrook and Scout teams considering that we kicked off the program together less than three years ago.”
Construction on Bitter Ridge, which is located on approximately 10,000 acres in Jay County is well advanced with all turbine foundations already complete ahead of the winter season. The project will utilize fifty-two (52) of the latest generation GE 2-MW platform wind turbines. Scout has signed firm purchase orders for the supply of the wind turbines with General Electric and has entered into a balance of plant construction services agreement with Mortenson.
As previously announced by Scout earlier this year, a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has been signed with Constellation, an Exelon company for the long-term purchase of approximately 80% of the renewable energy and capacity generated by Bitter Ridge.
“Supported by a long term PPA with Constellation, construction is already well advanced and the overall project execution has been moving quickly,” added Rucker. “We are excited to have Bitter Ridge interconnected to the PJM independent system operator from where it can serve renewable energy demand throughout PJM’s footprint.”
According to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator, Bitter Ridge is predicted to offset over two-hundred ninety-two thousand (292,000) metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually and over 10 million metric tons during its operating life. As importantly, Scout estimates that Jay County will receive over $18 million in tax revenue from Bitter Ridge over the operating life of the project, with over half going to directly supporting local schools in Jay County. Additionally, Jay County will receive $1.56 million in economic development payments made by Bitter Ridge for the benefit of several local community initiatives.
KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc. acted as Coordinating Lead Arranger, Joint Lead Arranger, Sole Bookrunner and Administrative Agent with CoBank, ACB and Rabobank acting as Joint Lead Arrangers for the $210 million construction financing (including letters of credit) of Bitter Ridge. GE Energy Financial Services (“GE EFS”) has underwritten and will commit a portion of the tax equity financing.
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