Starwood Energy Closes Financing for Final 10 Megawatt Phase of 60 Megawatt Solar Project in Sault Ste. Marie

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GREENWICH, Conn., June 29, 2011 /CNW/ -- Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC ("Starwood Energy"), a private investment firm focused on energy infrastructure projects, today announced that its affiliate, Starwood SSM3 Canada, L.P., has reached financial close on a 10 megawatt (MW) AC solar photovoltaic project in the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario ("Starwood SSM3"). The project builds on the success of Starwood SSM1, a 20MW AC project that came online in October 2010, and Starwood SSM2, a 30MW AC project expected to be completed during Q3 2011.

Starwood SSM3 is contracted under the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program ("RESOP") developed and overseen by the Ontario Power Authority ("OPA") and will connect to local utility PUC Distribution, Inc. The combined 60MW AC project, when complete, will be the second largest in North America and among the largest in the world.

The project construction financing and long-term loan facility is being provided by Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale ("Nord/LB"), a global leader in renewable energy project finance.

The North American subsidiary of Q-Cells SE ("Q-Cells"), one of the world's largest photovoltaic companies, will construct the project on a turn-key basis and provide operations and maintenance services post-completion. In conjunction with closing, Q-Cells has been issued a full notice to proceed with construction activities.

Equity financing for Starwood SSM3 will be provided by Starwood Energy Infrastructure Fund, L.P. (the "Fund") and its affiliates. Nautilus Solar Energy ("Nautilus"), which is majority owned by the Fund and its affiliates, will also serve as asset manager for the project.

Local jobs will be created for engineering, construction and ongoing management, operations, and maintenance of the facility, which is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2011. Starwood SSM3, once built, will provide power for up to 4,000 Ontario homes, generating its power during the middle of the day, a time of highest demand on the local power grid. The facility will also reduce yearly carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to displacing 1,900 cars and light trucks each driving 12,000 miles per year or to planting more than eight million trees in Ontario's forests.

"This closing represents the culmination of more than two years of development work on the three Sault Ste. Marie projects during challenging economic conditions. We are very appreciative of the support we have received from various local and provincial authorities," said Bradford Nordholm, CEO of Starwood Energy.

"We are grateful to Q-Cells and Nord/LB for their continued hard work on these projects. We look forward to pursuing similar investments in the Ontario renewable energy sector in the near future and applaud the strong community and provincial support towards realizing a new green energy economy in Ontario," said Himanshu Saxena, Senior Vice President of Starwood Energy.

Nord/LB, lead lender on both the Starwood SSM1 and Starwood SSM2 projects, have further demonstrated their commitment to renewable energy and, more specifically, to solar energy.

Nicolai Dillow, a Managing Director at Nord/LB Americas, commented, "Our investment in Starwood SSM3 marks the natural progression in our relationship with Starwood, and is a testament to Ontario's continued success in attracting foreign investment. It is our hope that we will be able to continue working with the province and our client so as to leverage off of our combined experience and together continue supporting Ontario in its efforts to implement its ambitious renewables agenda."

"Our winning partnership with Starwood in Sault Ste. Marie exemplifies Q-Cells' unique offering in blending its best-of-world technology and processes with local partnerships for the utility-scale market," said Marc van Gerven, CEO of Q-Cells North America. "We look forward to rolling out our market strategy and offering for the commercial and residential markets with the same rate of success."

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    About Starwood Energy Group
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STARWOOD ENERGY GROUP GLOBAL, L.L.C. ("Starwood Energy"), an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group Global, L.L.C. ("Starwood Capital"), is a private equity investment firm based in Greenwich, CT, that specializes in energy infrastructure investments. Founded in 2005, Starwood Energy is an active investor in power generation, renewable energy and high-voltage power transmission projects in North America. Starwood Energy has built and acquired a portfolio of natural gas fired power generation, a portfolio of high-voltage power transmission projects in various phases of development and operations, and a growing portfolio of renewable energy power generation projects. More information can be found at www.starwoodenergygroup.com

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    About NORD/LB (Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentale)
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Based in Hannover, Germany, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentale (Nord/LB) has grown to be Germany's tenth largest financial institution with roots going back to 1765. The Bank offers a range of financial services including Project Finance, Real Estate Lending, Asset Backed Finance, Treasury and Capital Markets functions. The financing of renewable energies is one of the Nord/LB Group's key areas of business growth. With a volume of around 3.5 billion Euros, the Group is already one of the leading finance providers in this sector. Nord/LB has an excellent track record in the solar sector that spans the entire globe, from rooftop & ground mount solar projects in Germany, Canada and US, to larger ground mount solar farms as well as panel & glass manufacturing facilities. In 2009, Nord/LB was the number one lender in solar PV financing in North America. More information can be found at www.nordlb.com

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    About Q-Cells North America
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Q-Cells North America, part of Q-Cells SE, designs, builds and manages financially sustainable solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions. The company brings a decade of global leadership in solar PV to North America, combining best-of-world technology, processes and partnerships to deliver utility-grade solar PV solutions customized for local energy markets. Q-Cells North America offers the full spectrum of PV solutions--from the core technology of cells and modules to power plant development, design, construction, operations and maintenance. With proven capabilities across the solar value chain, Q-Cells North America minimizes uncertainty and risk, and helps customers achieve a higher return on their investment in solar energy.

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    About Nautilus Solar Energy
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Founded in 2006, Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC ("Nautilus Solar") is a leading independent solar power producer headquartered in Summit, New Jersey. Nautilus Solar develops, constructs, finances, owns and operates distributed generation and utility-scale solar electric systems. The company sells its generated electricity through long term power purchase agreements. Nautilus Solar is majority-owned by an investment affiliate of Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC, based in Greenwich, CT. More information can be found at www.nautilussolar.com.

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SOURCE Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC

For further information: Starwood Energy Group: Tom Johnson, The Abernathy MacGregor Group, +1-212-371-5999; or Q-Cells North America, Jamie Kvittem, +1-510-388-5557, j.kvittem@q-cells.com; or Nord/LB, Sergio Garcia Aguilar, +1-212-812 6884 Web Site: http://www.starwoodenergygroup.com

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Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC

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