Following the acquisition of the San Roman Wind Farm in Cameron County, Texas last month, Acciona Energy and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) have announced closing tax equity financing on the project.
The 93-megawatt (MW) Texas wind project acquired from developer Pioneer Green Energy represents the eighth wind farm in the US, with its last acquisition in the space being that for the Big Smile Wind Farm in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma in 2012. The farm is currently under construction, and when completed will comprise 31 Acciona Windpower AW125/3000 turbines, each with a diameter of 125 metres and a steel-base tower height of 87.5 metres.
In a recent interview with North America Wind Power, Ilya Hartmann, the company's chief executive for that region, said that after a few years of “pause mode in terms of equity investment in North America” Acciona is again working to grow its US and Canadian renewables portfolio with the San Roman acquisition being “an important step towards that goal”.
Acciona will own and operate the wind farm once construction is complete, with that expected by the end of the year. Once operational, San Roman will bring Acciona's total US wind power generation assets under management to 721MW and its total renewables generation in North America to 1,500MW.
The move to acquire San Roman coincides with the recent extension of production tax credits (PTCs) for projects that are constructed between January 2015 and December 2019. The company plans to invest around $2.5 billion by 2020 to build new renewable energy infrastructure globally, raising its capacity by approximately 1,900MW.
The San Roman farm will create about 80 full-time jobs during construction and seven permanent jobs during the operations phase. The project is expected to pay $30 million in local taxes over its 25-year lifespan and generate more than $25 million in lease payments to local land owners. Acciona also said it would create a scholarship fund and a community benefit fund.