Invenergy is preparing to raise construction financing for
the 2 GW Wind Catcher wind project in Oklahoma.
The Chicago-based sponsor has received bids from lenders
that are looking to fund the project, a project finance banker
tells PFR, although a spokesperson for
Invenergy in Chicago denied that the sponsor had solicited
"Everyone and their mothers want it", says the
banker, adding that the debt financing for the project and
associated 350-mile transmission line is slated at $2 billion.
The company spokesperson confirmed that Invenergy intends to
raise construction financing but disputed the planned size of
the deal. The sponsor is "moving very quickly to try to finance
the project", notes the banker.
The combined wind generation and transmission project,
collectively known as Wind Catcher Energy Connection, has a
total cost of $4.5 billion and is slated to be completed in
The project, which Invenergy says will be the largest wind
facility in the U.S. and second largest globally, is under
construction on an approximately 300,000 acre site in
Cimarron and Texas counties, Okla.
Rather than signing a power purchase agreement, the sponsor
has instead agreed to sell the project to two utilities upon
Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and
Southwestern Electric Power Co., both
subsidiaries of American Electric Power, are
seeking approval from regulators in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas
and Oklahoma for plans to purchase the facility, according to a
statement issued by Invenergy on July 26. Invenergy will
operate the project for the first five years.
GE Renewable Energy has supplied 800 2.5 MW
turbines for the project, which entered construction last year,
according to the statement.
Invenergy closed a turbine loan at the end of last year to
safe harbor a large number of wind turbines under the
production tax credit (
PFR, 1/25). It could not immediately be established whether
the Wind Catcher project will utilize turbines procured with
funds from the loan.
The independent power producer has worked with a long list
of lenders in the last 12 months for project financing,
including Morgan Stanley, BNP
Paribas, GE Energy Financial