Innergex closed financing for 40.6-MW Big Silver Creek hydropower plant

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Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. has closed US$160.2 million in non-recourse construction and term project financing for the 40.6-MW Big Silver Creek hydropower project in British Columbia.

The run-of-river plant will be located on Crown land north of Harrison Hot Springs, with power to be delivered under a 40-yeaer fixed-price power purchase agreement with BC Hydro that was granted under its 2008 Clean Power Call Request for Proposals.

The deal was brokered by with Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife) as agent and lead lender, with additional financing from the Caisse de Depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ).

There are three tranches in the deal, including:

  • A $41.4 million construction loan carrying a fixed interest rate of 4.56%; following the start of the facility's commercial operation, it will convert into a 25-year term loan and the principal will be amortized over an 18-year period, starting in the seventh year;
  • A $104.2 million construction loan carrying a fixed interest rate of 4.76%; following the start of the facility's commercial operation, it will convert into a 40-year term loan and the principal will begin to be amortized after the 25-year term loan's maturity; and
  • A $14.5 million construction loan carrying a fixed interest rate of 4.76%; following the start of the facility's commercial operation, it will convert into a 40-year term loan and its principal will be reimbursed at maturity.

"We are very happy to have succeeded, together with our lenders, in optimizing the terms for this debt and the cash flows that will be generated by the facility over the life of the power purchase agreement," Innergex president and CEO Michel Letellier said.

Work on Big Silver Creek is progressing on time and on budget, according to Letellier, with the plant's tunnel recently completed. The company expects the project to being commercial operation next year.

HydroWorld.com reported this past October that Innergex (TSX: INE) had closed $87.2 million in financing for British Columbia's 21.2-MW Tretheway Creek hydro project.

Innergex Renewable Energy signed an agreement in August with the In-SHUCK-ch Nation to develop six run-of-river hydroelectric projects totaling 150 MW in British Columbia. 

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