This transaction expands GE Energy Financial Services' and Enel Green Power North America's portfolio of co-owned wind power projects. In 2012, the companies invested in the 235 MW Chisholm View wind project in Oklahoma, and in the 200 MW Prairie Rose wind project in Minnesota. Both projects also feature GE wind turbines.
The GE unit and Enel Green Power North America also invested in the 101 MW Smoky Hills wind farm in Kansas and the 63 MW Snyder wind farm in Texas.
GE unit GE Energy Financial Services now owns 51 percent of the Buffalo Dunes project under construction southwest of Garden City, Kansas in Finney, Grant and Haskell counties. Enel Green Power North America, a unit of Enel Green Power, maintains a 49 percent ownership stake, retains an option to increase this stake to 75 percent if elected during certain periods in 2013 and 2014, and serves as project manager.
In addition to capital, GE is supplying 135 wind turbines for the project and will provide operations and maintenance after completion. Alabama Power Co. will buy most of the electricity from the project under a 20-year agreement.
Construction, managed by RES Americas, is slated for completion in December. The wind project is expected to employ 150 construction workers, create 15 permanent jobs, generate enough electricity to power 65,000 homes and — according to Environmental Protection Agency methodology — avoid about 800,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
GE Energy Financial Services' global wind portfolio now comprises equity and debt financings for projects spanning 17 US states and four other countries totaling more than 10 GW in operation or under construction.