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Juhl Wind eyes ageing North American wind farms

Community wind power operator Juhl Wind has formed a joint venture with Colorado-based 8030 Companies with a view to acquiring operating wind farm assets across the United States and Canada, the company has announced.

As part of the acquisition drive, the companies are targeting sub-100MW wind farms which have been in operation for six years or more. According to Juhl, the joint venture has already conducted preliminary discussions with owners of existing wind farms in the upper Mid-west, and is now expanding its scope elsewhere in the US and Canada.

The two companies are particularly focused on acquiring wind farm assets approaching 10 years of operation, which will signal the end of their eligibility for the production tax credit. At this stage in a wind farm’s lifespan, equipment “may require upgrades and a level of operating care that may not be available at the local level or by a large, conglomerate, absentee owner”, Juhl said.

Juhl is also looking to acquire or become a partner on any projects where a local owner may be facing a "flip" and may prefer to have a partner which understands the unique issues facing smaller wind farm assets.

"Industry data suggest that there is well over 6 GW of wind farms under 50 MW in size presently operating in North America and obviously a significant more amount available that exist under 100 MWs," said Corey Juhl, vice president of development at Juhl Wind. "This data underscores the tremendous scale of opportunity for both Juhl and 8030.”

He added: “Juhl's partnership with 8030 Companies allows us to expand our reach beyond the Midwest market and leverage Juhl's 25 years of experience in the wind industry to expand our services and balance sheet to operating assets and projects."
 

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