RES Americas has signed a deal to sell a 49% stake in an under-construction wind project in Washington State to TransAlta.

The 136.8 MW Skookumchuck wind project is located in Lewis and Thurston counties and is being fitted with 38 Vestas V-136 3.6 MW turbines.

The sale is expected to close in December, which is when the more-than-$200 million project is slated to come online. It will sell its output to Puget Sound Energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Spokespeople for RES in Boulder, Colo., and TransAlta in Calgary did not immediately respond to inquiries regarding the financial terms of the deal or any tax equity or debt financing.

The acquisition is in line with TransAlta’s strategy to add renewable projects to its generation mix while decommissioning some coal-fired plants and repowering others to run on natural gas.

The Skookumchuck farm is located adjacent to one of TransAlta's coal-fired assets, namely the 1,340 MW Centralia facility, whose final coal-fired unit is due to go cold by 2025. Converting the plant to burn gas could cost the company about $1 billion (The Seattle Times, 3/5/11).

Last week, TransAlta announced the appointment of a new cfo, Todd Stack. He replaces Christophe Dehout, who had held the position for seven months and is leaving “to pursue new opportunities” (PFR, 5/20).

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