DOE Loan Guarantee to Support World's Largest Wind Project
October 13, 2010
DOE announced on October 8 a conditional commitment to provide a partial guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan in support of the world's largest wind farm. The loan will finance Caithness Energy LLC's Shepherds Flat wind project, an 845-megawatt wind-powered electrical generating facility in eastern Oregon. Sponsored by Caithness and General Electric (GE) Energy Financial Services, the project consists of 338 of GE's 2.5xl turbines, which are being deployed for the first time deployed in North America. Once completed, the project will sell 100% of the power generated to Southern California Edison through 20-year fixed-price power purchase agreements. The facility will preclude the emission of 1,215,991 tons of carbon dioxide per year, an amount equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 212,141 passenger vehicles. According to Caithness, the project will directly create 400 construction jobs, followed by 35 permanent jobs on site.
The Shepherds Flat project is the largest project to date to receive an offer of a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP), a DOE program supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under FIPP financing, DOE guarantees up to 80% of a loan provided to a renewable energy project by qualified financial institutions. See the DOE press release and the DOE Loan Guarantee Program Web site.