TransAlta Corporation ("TransAlta") (TA.TO) (TAC) announced today the acquisition of 71 megawatts (MW) of long-term contracted renewable generation assets from an affiliate of Rockland Capital LLC for a purchase price of US$ 75.8 million, together with the assumption of certain tax equity obligations and US$ 41.8 million of non-recourse project debt. The assets acquired include 21 MW of solar projects located in Massachusetts and a 50 MW wind facility in Minnesota. The assets are contracted under long-term power purchase agreements ranging from 20 - 30 years with several high quality counterparties. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of September 2015.
"The acquisition marks our first solar project and aligns with our strategy of growing our renewables platform, diversifying our portfolio, and increasing the pipeline of assets for potential future drop-downs into TransAlta Renewables" said Dawn Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of TransAlta. "The expansion into new geographic markets and technologies further enhances our position as a leader in renewable energy and provides potential for future opportunities in the U.S solar and wind space."
The solar facilities, consisting of four ground mounted projects and four roof-top projects, are all long-term contracted with solid cash flows from multiple counterparties. The solar assets are qualified under phase one of the Massachusetts Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC-I) program, established to encourage investment in distributed solar generation. The wind facility, which uses 32 GE 1.5 MW XLE turbines, has been operational since March 2014 and is contracted under three long-term power purchase agreements until 2034 with high quality counterparties.
- Attractive cash-on-cash yield acquisition metrics of approximately 9.6%, and TEV/EBITDA of 8.8x
- Expands TransAlta's renewable platform in the U.S. and into solar
- Combined with the recent wind assets to be acquired through the Suncor transaction, expands the potential drop-down candidates for TransAlta Renewables
- Long-term contracted cash flows with high quality counterparties
- Provides further geographic, technology and counterparty diversification