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Pattern raises $311m for Meikle Wind

The Riverstone-backed renewable energy developer has completed financing for a 180MW wind farm, the largest in British Columbia.

Pattern Development, a company backed by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings, has raised C$393 million (€281 million; $311 million) in financing for Meikle Wind, a 180 megawatt (MW) wind power project in British Columbia.

The financing was provided by commercial banks, a spokesperson for Pattern Development said without disclosing the names of the institutions.

Meikle Wind, which is expected to begin commercial operations in late 2016, is the largest wind power project in the Canadian province. It will have the capacity to power up to 54,000 homes with clean energy and has a 25-year power purchase agreement in place with electric utility BC Hydro.

“Meikle Wind will generate strong benefits for the province with an estimated C$70 million in payments for property taxes, Crown lease payments, wind participation rent, and community benefits over the first 25 years of operations,” said Mike Garland, Pattern Development chief executive.

Pattern Development, which acquired Meikle Wind from Canadian wind project developer Finavera in 2014, has sought inputs from the First Nations, Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd communities, immediately impacted by the project, as well as from the provincial government.

Initiation construction began in January and full construction is beginning now, Pattern Development’s spokesperson said.

Meikle Wind is also one of the projects Pattern Development’s yieldco Pattern Energy holds the right to purchase.

Pattern Energy initially listed in September 2013, raising net proceeds of $319 million. Although it is a yieldco, it is designed to become a fully-fledged project developer – and not just an owner of operational assets, as most yieldcos are – once its market capitalisation hits $2.5 billion, according to a report from law firm Chadbourne & Parke.

When that happens, the yieldco will inherit the workforce of its parent company. It also has an option to buy its parent company should its current owners decide to sell a significant portion of its equity or assets.

New York-based Riverstone invested in Pattern Development in June 2009 but has not disclosed the ownership interest it holds in the company.

Since being established in 2000, the private equity firm, which focuses on the power and energy sectors, has raised more than $28 billion of equity capital and committed approximately $28 billion to 114 investments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

The firm conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the exploration and production, midstream, oilfield services, power and renewables sectors.