First Reserve acquires Mariah North Wind Power Project in Texas

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First Reserve, a global private equity and infrastructure investment firm focused on energy, has announced the acquisition of the Mariah North wind power project located in Parmer County, Texas (USA), from Mariah Acquisition. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mariah North wind farm is expected to generate 230 MW of wind power after its completion. The project will also construct and own a 345 kV transmission line 27 miles length to interconnect with the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones system in Texas, being the first phase of an expected 600 MW development. The project is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.

The acquisition represents the current increase of First Reserve's wind power portfolio, which is expected to generate around 1,100 MW upon completion of the projects under construction. 

Mariah Acquisition will continue to oversee project development and will partner with affiliate Harvest Energy Services, to construct and operate the approximate US$350 million project.

A turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the development of the plant has been signed with Mortenson Construction, as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) services and turbine supply agreement with General Electric.

Tax equity is being provided by MidAmerican Energy (backstopped by Berkshire Hathaway Energy), Citigroup, and HSBC, with a sale lease-back with Hannon Armstrong for the transmission facilities and rights of way.

Mark Florian, managing director and head of infrastructure funds for First Reserve, said:

"We are pleased to be acquiring this construction-ready project backed by a strong, historically consistent wind resource.  The Mariah North Wind opportunity represents an extension of the model followed by many of First Reserve's energy infrastructure investments, in which we have partnered with what we view to be solid counterparties with contractual structures designed to protect returns on behalf of our Limited Partners."

Mariah Acquisition managing director, Michael Rucker, commented:

"Mariah North Wind will make a positive economic impact on the Parmer County community generating valuable tax revenue and employment opportunities. Mariah Acquisition is proud to bring the project and its transmission line to financial close adding another source of clean power to the ERCOT grid, as the first of future wind and solar phases of the US$1 billion Mariah Renewable Energy Center."

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