J.P. Morgan Asset Management and First Wind Announce Transfer of Majority Ownership in Palouse and Route 66 Wind Projects
First Wind will continue to operate the Washington-based 105 MW Palouse project along with the Texas-based 150 MW Route 66 project once construction is completed ----Following today's transaction with J.P. Morgan Asset Management, First Wind will continue to operate and manage the 105 MW Palouse Wind project (pictured here), which generates enough clean energy to power the equivalent of as many as 30,000 homes in Eastern Washington.
New York, NY and Boston, MA – December 11, 2014 – J.P. Morgan Asset Management and First Wind announced today that institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management have made a majority investment in two of First Wind's projects. The investments include the Palouse Wind project in Washington and the Route 66 Wind project in Texas, which is currently under construction. First Wind will operate and manage both projects as the company continues to expand its third-party operations group.
"We are very excited to add the Palouse and Route 66 wind projects to the list of assets we advise and establish a partnership with First Wind on behalf of our clients," said Matt LeBlanc, CIO of OECD Infrastructure at J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets. "These are high quality projects, exhibiting solid financial and operating fundamentals, that we anticipate will produce stable and growing yields and total returns for our investors over the long term."
"Attracting strong investors such as those advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management reinforces that First Wind is building high-value, financially viable projects. This transaction also provides First Wind capital to continue our efforts to develop and build new clean energy projects," said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. "First Wind will continue to operate the projects, as we grow our operations capabilities. We will continue to focus on serving our local communities in Washington and Texas while generating cost-competitive clean energy to homes and businesses."
As the largest renewable energy facility in Whitman County, the Palouse Wind project features 58 state-of-the-art Vestas V100-1.8 MW turbines located near the town of Oakesdale, Washington. The project achieved commercial operations in December 2012, and the wind power from the project interconnects to the Avista 230kV Benewah-to-Shawnee transmission line. Palouse Wind harnesses enough wind to generate up to 105 MW for Whitman County and much of the Northwest – enough to provide power for the equivalent of as many as 30,000 homes in Eastern Washington. The energy company Avista is purchasing the power and delivering it to homes and businesses in the region.
Route 66 is a 150 MW wind project under construction in Armstrong and Carson Counties near Amarillo, Texas. Construction began in late 2013 and is slated to be completed in 2015. Once complete, the project will be comprised of 75 Vestas V110 turbines with a capacity of 2 MW each that will deliver clean energy to the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) power markets through the new CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission system. The project is expected to power about 49,000 Texas homes annually.
About J.P. Morgan Asset Management - Global Real Assets
J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets has more than $82 billion in assets under management and approximately 400 professionals in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as of September 30, 2014. With a 40-plus-year history of successful investing, J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets' broad capabilities provide many of the world's most sophisticated investors with a global platform of real estate, infrastructure, maritime/transport and energy strategies driven by local investment talent with disciplined investment processes consistently implemented across asset types and regions. The Global Real Assets team is part of J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Alternatives Investments business, which collectively manages over $120 billion in client assets across real assets, hedge funds, credit and private equity.
About First Wind
First Wind, which recently entered into an agreement to be acquired by SunEdison and TerraForm Power, is a leading renewable energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind is operating or building renewable energy projects across the country, with combined capacity of nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) – enough to power more than 375,000 homes each year. For more information on First Wind, please visit www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @FirstWind.