Scout Clean Energy, a Colorado based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, has completed construction and closed tax equity funding for the 130-Megawatt (MW) Bitter Ridge Wind Farm located in Jay County, Indiana. Scout is a portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners.
Scout began greenfield development of Bitter Ridge in 2016 and started construction in August 2019. The wind farm will use GE 2.82-MW turbines.
A 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has been signed with Constellation, an Exelon company, for the long-term purchase of about 80% of renewable energy and capacity generated by Bitter Ridge. Scout entered into a fixed-price balance-of-plant construction agreement with Mortenson Construction who completed the work on schedule and with excellent safety performance. The Bitter Ridge asset management and post-construction operations will be undertaken by Scout.
The project has a tax incentive agreement in place with Jay County which will result in $1.56 million in economic development payments being made by Bitter Ridge for the benefit of several local community initiatives, $780,000 of which has already been paid by Scout under the terms of the economic development agreement. It is estimated that the county will receive more than $18 million in tax revenues over the expected life of the project, with over half going directly to Jay County Schools.
KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc. acted as Coordinating Lead Arranger, Joint Lead Arranger, Sole Bookrunner and Administrative Agent with CoBank, ACB and Rabobank acting as Joint Lead Arrangers for the $213 million construction financing (including letters of credit) of Bitter Ridge. BHE Renewables provided the tax equity funding for the project.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP and Paragon Energy Capital advised Scout on the debt and tax equity financing transactions.
The completion of construction of Bitter Ridge follows the final commissioning of Scout’s 180 MW Heart of Texas wind farm in McCullough County, Texas earlier in 2020.
“We were able to complete the project safely and still meet most of our schedule. The success is a real credit to Scout’s construction management team, our suppliers, contractors and financiers who have worked tirelessly to get Bitter Ridge completed, especially under the difficult circumstances and widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Rucker, CEO and founder of Scout Clean Energy. “Safety is always our number one priority, and we are proud to report that—due to diligent health and safety measures put in place for the protection of all workers—construction was completed without a single case of the COVID-19 virus being contracted on site. Several supply chain challenges were also resolved through effective teamwork and collaboration with our contractors and key equipment suppliers. To complete construction without any material delays to the project schedule is significant and we thank all those involved for their outstanding efforts.”