GE Energy Financial Services and Plutonic Power, a Canadian hydroelectric producer, have ormed a partnership to acquire the wind generation project of EarthFirst Canada, a distressed Calgary wind developer.
Provided specific conditions are met, Plutonic and GE’s clean energy investment arm would acquire EarthFirst’s 144 megawatt Dokie 1 wind power project and the 156 megawatt Dokie Expansion Project, a development-stage initiative adjacent to the Dokie I Project in Chetwynd in northeast British Columbia.
A final price for the deal has not been disclosed but the transaction would include paying off a C$26 million ($24 million) secured credit facility to EarthFirst’s largest lender, German bank WestLB. The acquirer would also agree to pay for the remainder of the projects’ development costs.
EarthFirst estimated completing the project would cost about C$250 million. GE and Plutonic Power intend to finance a portion of the project with equity and the balance with a project finance bank loan, a GE spokesman tells GER.
The two facilities are backed by power purchase agreements with BC Hydro, but these are expected to be renegotiated once the assets are sold.
EarthFirst entered bankruptcy protection earlier this year after it was undone by the economic crisis and the credit freeze, which left it unable to secure funding to support the development of its wind projects.