Wind energy financing has been on a rise recently as two new German bank-led financing deals closed last week.
Netherlands-based NOP Agrowind, an initiative led by private agricultural entrepreneurs, last week received a loan of €350mn from a banking consortium consisting of Germany’s KfW IPEX-Bank, Rabobank and the European Investment Bank.
NOP Agrowind will use the loan to build 26 wind turbines that will be part of the 86 wind turbines of Windpark Noordoostpolder, soon to become the largest wind farm in the Netherlands. The first turbine is planned to start generating power in September 2014 and the project is slated to be completed in 2016.
This is the first time Agrowind has raised financing and there are no plans for future financing, Janneke Wijnia-Lemstra financial director at NOP Agrowind tells GTR. Dutch wind energy companies benefit from a stable state subsidy system and the Dutch government aims for 40% of renewable energy in the market. There are several large-scale wind projects currently in the Netherlands and Rabobank said in a recent release that it hopes to be able to have a role as a lender in three of them.
Elsewhere, US-based First Wind, a renewable energy company, obtained US$206 mn in debt financing from German Bayern LB for its Route 66 Wind project in Texas. This is the first project in the southern US state for the renewables company, however First Wind tells GTR that this is not the first time that First Wind has done business with the German bank: Bayern LB provided financing for a wind project in Hawaii back in 2012. The German bank has multiple renewable energy projects throughout the US.
“This financing is an important milestone for the construction of Route 66 Wind. We are glad to be able to make a direct investment into the local economy throughout the construction and successful operations of the project,” says Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind in a recent release.
Construction work began in late 2013, and is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the state of Texas. First Wind owns and operates wind projects in Maine, Vermont, New York, Utah, Washington and Hawaii.
Throughout last year, there was a lull in wind energy markets and wind capacity in the European Union decreased due to the regulatory and political uncertainty that swept across Europe. Southern European countries have seen a decline in wind energy, but the markets are still strong in northern Europe, Germany and the UK. US markets are expected to stay strong throughout 2014.