First Wind and Emera partner up for US wind

Boston-based First Wind and Canada’s Emera have joined forces in a new company that will develop wind power in the north eastern United States.

Northeast Wind Partners will be 51% owned by wind developer First Wind and 49% owned by Emera, an energy services company. As part of the deal, First Wind’s 385MW portfolio of wind energy projects in the north east US, including eight operating projects in three states, have been transferred to the new company.

First Wind is to manage the development business and will continue to develop new wind projects in the northeast, the partners said. Once these projects meet the joint venture’s eligibility criteria, First Wind can transfer up to an additional 1.2 GW of new projects into the new company.

“This is an exciting partnership for First Wind that will allow us to invest in new, well-sited and well-run wind projects that deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across the Northeast,” said Paul Gaynor, chief executive of First Wind.

Emera said it planned to use Northeast Wind Partners to ramp up its presence in the north eastern state of Maine, in particular.

“Emera’s ongoing business objective is to expand our presence in the north eastern US,” said Chris Huskilson, chief executive of Emera. “Our First Wind partnership helps Emera establish a meaningful position in the northeast renewable energy market. This partnership also allows us to demonstrate our commitment to Maine and the region both through existing and anticipated new Maine-based projects.”

Emera has invested a total of $211 million to acquire its stake in Northeast Wind Partners. In addition, Emera is making a $150 million loan to an intermediate subsidiary company of Northeast Wind Partners.

In the last six years, First Wind has built eight wind projects in the northeast. Together with the company’s projects in the western US and Hawaii, these projects take the company’s operating capacity to 751 MW, with an additional 229 MW under construction.

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