The company is now poised to grow its generating capacity by 75 percent in the next two years via secured commitments for 750 MW of new wind and solar projects
BOSTON--First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, today announced that it achieved record growth in 2013 by securing commitments for some 750 megawatts (MW) in new renewable energy projects.
At the start of 2013, following the extension of the federal tax credits, First Wind announced that it planned to increase its operating portfolio of wind projects by 50 percent. By adding nearly 600 MW in planned new wind projects to the company's 1,000 MW operating portfolio, First Wind was able to surpass those projections. In addition, the company has added solar power to its portfolio, and will complete 17 MW (AC) of solar projects by the summer and has another 150 MW of solar projects in late stages of development.
"2013 was a banner year for First Wind that saw us both significantly grow our portfolio, by expanding our business into new markets and new forms of generation such as solar," said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. "The expansion of our portfolio by about 75 percent has and will continue to translate into real jobs, regional investment and most importantly, competitively priced new sources of clean energy for consumers."
"Last year was a success, in large part because of strong state and federal renewable energy policies. As we move into 2014, I hope that there will be continued leadership on a state level and that a predictable federal renewable energy policy is implemented as soon as possible," added Gaynor. "In 2014 and 2015, we're going to put these projects into operation and start delivering clean energy to our customers."
Below is a recap of some of the notable highlights for First Wind during 2013:
*New Megawatts Qualified for Tax Credits – First Wind qualified nearly 600 MW of new wind capacity under the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) that was extended in January 2013.
*Long-Term PPAs for Cost-Competitive Renewable Energy – First Wind secured long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind and solar projects, including four Maine wind projects and solar projects in Massachusetts. In total, First Wind secured over 20 separate PPAs with utilities for planned wind projects and solar projects.
*First Project in Texas – In the fall of 2013, First Wind acquired the Route 66 Wind project near Amarillo, Texas. The planned 150 MW project, when built, is expected to deliver power to the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) power markets through the new CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission system.
*Successful Expansion into Solar – The start of construction of 17 MW (AC) in solar projects represented the company's first set of renewable energy projects in its home state of Massachusetts and its first solar development. First Wind also has approximately 150 MW (AC) of solar projects in late stage development.
*New Financing – First Wind's joint venture with Emera, Northeast Wind, closed a new corporate credit facility, consisting of a $320 million Term Loan B debt facility and a $75 million Letter of Credit facility.
The successful expansion of First Wind's portfolio will put thousands of people to work building new projects over the next few years. In addition, these new projects will deliver millions of dollars in investment and new revenue generated for host communities and others, while delivering cost-competitive clean energy to more homes across the country.
About First Wind
First Wind develops, finances, builds and operates utility-scale renewable energy projects throughout the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind currently operates wind power facilities in the Northeast, the West and Hawaii, with combined capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts (MW) – enough to power about 300,000 U.S. homes each year. For more information on First Wind, please visit www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @FirstWind.