Financing complete for wind power project in Hawaii

First Wind said it has obtained $236 million in financing for its 69 MW Kawailoa Wind project on Oahu’s North Shore.

A subsidiary of First Wind closed a $220 million non-recourse construction and term loan and $16 million in letters of credit for the Kawailoa project. Union Bank served as Administrative Agent and Joint Lead Arranger. Other Joint Lead Arrangers include Bayern LB, Rabobank and Siemens Financial Services. CIBC and CoBank also participated in the financing.

Early construction work began on the project in December of 2011. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Major construction work, including delivery and erection of turbines, is expected to start in the summer of 2012.

Once complete, First Wind said the Kawailoa Wind will be the largest wind energy facility in Hawaii. The project consists of 30, 2.3 MW Siemens (NYSE: SI) wind turbines.

In December 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement between Kawailoa Wind and the Hawaiian Electric Co. (NYSE: HE) Hawaii state law mandates 70 percent clean energy for electricity and surface transportation by 2030, with 40 percent coming from local renewable sources.

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