BOSTON, MA and HALIFAX, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - First Wind Holdings, LLC (First Wind) and Emera Inc. (TSX: EMA) announced today the closing of their transaction to jointly own and operate wind energy projects in the Northeast U.S. through a new company called Northeast Wind Partners.
First Wind's 385 Megawatt (MW) portfolio of wind energy projects in the Northeast U.S., including eight operating projects in three states, have been transferred to Northeast Wind Partners. First Wind retains 51 percent and Emera now owns 49 percent of the new company. First Wind will serve as the managing partner and will continue to operate the wind energy projects. Emera affiliate Emera Energy Services will provide energy management services. First Wind will exclusively manage the development business and as such continue to develop new wind projects in the Northeast. Once these projects meet certain eligibility criteria, First Wind has the ability to transfer up to an additional 1,200 MW of new projects into the new joint venture.
"Emera's ongoing business objective is to expand our presence in the Northeastern U.S. and we are pleased to be partnering with First Wind, who is known throughout the region as a premier developer of quality wind energy projects," said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO, Emera Inc." Our First Wind partnership helps Emera establish a meaningful position in the Northeast renewable energy market and is consistent with our corporate strategy. This partnership also allows us to demonstrate our commitment to Maine and the region both through existing and anticipated new Maine-based projects."
"This is an exciting partnership for First Wind that will allow us to invest in new, well-sited and well-run wind projects that deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across the Northeast," said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. "We see an enormous opportunity to continue to deliver cost-effective clean, renewable energy so that Northeastern states can meet their important renewable portfolio standards.
"This transaction will be seamless for the communities where we work, but will mean new investment in the economy," Gaynor added. "In Emera, we're also pleased to be partnering with one of the region's leading energy companies."
Emera has invested a total of $211 million to acquire 49 percent of Northeast Wind Partners. In addition, Emera is making a $150 million loan to an intermediate subsidiary company of Northeast Wind Partners, which will be repaid in five years. Emera will finance this transaction through existing credit facilities.
In the last six years, as First Wind has built 8 projects in the Northeast, more than 1,500 people have worked on construction of First Wind projects and nearly 100 operations, maintenance, and development people work full time in the region. The completion of the joint venture could lead to up to $3 billion in future economic investment in the region in the coming years.
Forward Looking Information:
This news release contains forward looking information. Actual future results may differ materially. Additional information related to Emera, including the company's Annual Information Form, can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com or on EDGAR at www.sec.gov.
About First Wind
First Wind is an independent wind energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale wind projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind has wind projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawaii, with the capacity to generate up to 751 megawatts of power and projects under construction with the capacity to generate up to an additional 229 megawatts. For more information on First Wind, please visit www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @FirstWind.
Emera Inc. is an energy and services company with $6.9 billion in assets and 2011 revenues of $2.1 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as well as gas transmission and utility energy services. Emera's strategy is focused on the transformation of the electricity industry to cleaner generation and the delivery of that clean energy to market. Emera has interests throughout northeastern North America, in three Caribbean countries and in California. More than 80% of the company's earnings come from regulated investments. Emera common, preferred and C shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade respectively under the symbol EMA, EMA.PR.A. and EMA.PR.C. Additional information can be accessed at www.emera.com, www.sedar.com, or on www.sec.gov.
For further information:
Emera Investor Relations
Jill MacDonald, Manager Investor Relations
Emera Media Relations:
Sasha Irving, Director Corporate Communications
John Lamontagne, Director of Corporate Communications