Duke Energy, Sumitomo secure financing for Kansas wind farms

Charlotte, N.C., April 26, 2012 — Duke Energy Renewables and Sumitomo Corp. of America finalized their 50-50 ownership arrangement for two Kansas wind farms and secured about $353 million in financing for construction and operating costs.

Previous coverage of this story can be found here.

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, announced plans on March 27 to sell a 50 percent stake in the 131-MW Cimarron II Windpower Project in Gray County and the 168-MW Ironwood Windpower Project in Ford County to Sumitomo. The companies will complete construction of both wind farms later this year.

The financing, which closed April 18, consists of a construction and term loan facility of about $330 million and a letter of credit facility totaling roughly $23 million. The lenders involved in the deal were Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Vinson & Elkins and Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel to Duke Energy Renewables and Sumitomo, respectively, during the formation of the joint venture. Chadbourne & Parke represented the joint venture partners in the financing effort. Milbank, Tweed acted as legal counsel to the lenders.

Both the Cimarron II and Ironwood projects have long-term contracts in place to sell the electricity they generate. Kansas City Power & Light will purchase all of the electricity and associated renewable energy credits produced by Cimarron II under the terms of a 20-year agreement. Westar Energy will buy all the power and RECs produced by the Ironwood wind farm through a 20-year agreement.

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