Two Wind Projects Planned for Mid-Atlantic Coast

Central Hudson Enterprises, a subsidiary of CH Energy Group, invested up to $5.5 million in a joint venture with Community Energy that will own two wind farm projects with other investors. Both sites are projected to come online by year’s end.

The 24 MW Bear Creek wind project is under construction near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The renewable energy credits and energy output of its dozen 2 MW turbines and are under long-term contracts. The turbines, said to be the largest in use in the US, are supplied by Gamesa Eolica of Spain. The five regional sustainable energy funds providing financing to the Bear Creek project are the TRF Sustainable Development Fund, the Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania, the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund and the Metropolitan Edison Sustainable Energy Fund. The 7.5 MW Jersey Atlantic project, which is being built at the wastewater treatment plant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will house five 1.5 MW turbines. Approximately half of their output is contracted under a long-term purchased power agreement with the Atlantic County Utilities Authority; the remaining portion will be bid into the energy market. Additional financing came from the state’s Clean Energy Program and a production grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities “This investment offered us the opportunity to broaden our involvement in the renewable energy arena, which we believe will continue to grow in coming years,” said Steven V. Lant, CH Energy Group chairman, president and CEO. “The projects are expected to generate earnings within the next several months, and they will benefit from state and federal incentives to expand renewable electricity production and reduce emissions.” Central Hudson Enterprises’ ownership will represent a minority interest in the projects. Other partners with the Central Hudson Energy Group include Community Energy ($50 million) and Babcock & Brown as the long-term owners of the wind projects, backed by project financing from a group of public and private energy funding sources. “This first-rate finance team was able to translate the obvious fuel-free advantages of wind energy into market grade investments ranging from secure debt to long-term equity,” said Brent Alderfer, President of CEI. “The exciting part of this deal is it opens the door for broader investor participation in the wind energy market.”
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