Timely financing for the first US offshore wind farm
When Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm needed US$298 million to become the first US offshore wind farm off the Rhode Island coast, Societe Generale not only raised the money but also did so in a short period of time.
The debt financing helped bring offshore wind from theory to reality in the U.S., and created a financing model for future American offshore wind farms. When the project enters operation towards the end of 2016, some of the electricity generated by the project’s five turbines will flow to Block Island itself, reducing the island’s reliance on inefficient diesel generators. A submarine cable will also connect the wind farm to the mainland electric grid.
Societe Generale’s financial commitment was crucial to advancing this pathbreaking project. The Block Island Wind Farm is ushering in a new era for renewable energy in the United States.
Jeffrey Grybowski, Deepwater Wind CEO
Deepwater Wind wanted to raise the required funds quickly in order to meet the terms of its agreement with Alstom for the provision of their new flagship 6MW Haliade 150 wind turbines. In response SG CIB underwrote 100% of the transaction and then successfully syndicated the debt after financial close.
“There were a number of challenges associated with doing the first offshore wind farm in the US,” explained Alexander Krolick, Director, Energy Project Finance, Societe Generale. “Underwriting the entire financing provided a number of advantages, including certainty of funds and speed of execution. We were able to move very quickly, and able to provide a solution that benefited Deepwater. We are very proud of this trail-blazing transaction.”
Block Island Wind Farm’s credit facilities include a US$268 million construction/term loan and US$30 million for letters of credit. SG CIB was able to close the transaction in an exceptionally short space of time because it was appointed to all the significant lead roles including: financial advisor for the debt raise, sole underwriter, bookrunner and hedge provider.
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