Pattern closes on Panhandle 1

Pattern Energy, the yieldco launched out of Pattern Development last autumn, has closed on its acquisition of 172MW of the 218MW of capacity installed at the Panhandle 1 wind farm in Texas from its former parent company.

With the acquisition, Pattern Energy’s portfolio has grown to encompass nine operational wind farms and two more under construction, totaling 1,472MW of capacity.

Pattern Energy first announced its intention to acquire the stake in May 2014, although at the time it said it would buy 179MW.

The remainder of the 218MW project, which uses 118 GW 1.85MW turbines, is owned by three unnamed tax-equity investors.

The deal represents the second acquisition finalised between Pattern Energy and Pattern Development since the yieldco went public last October.

Some 77% of the output at Panhandle 1 is contracted under a long-term energy price hedge with an investment-grade affiliate of Citibank, with the remainder sold on the ERCOT spot market.

Like most renewables yieldcos to have gone public in North America over the past year, Pattern Energy has seen its shares increase sharply – and are presently up more than 45% since their initial public offering.

Pattern Energy still has the Right of First Offer on four projects totaling 441MW owned by Pattern Development – three in Canada, and one in Texas. The Texas project – Gulf Wind – is already operational, while the other three are slated for completion in 2015-16.

“We anticipate [Pattern Development’s] extensive pipeline will create more opportunities that will help us meet or exceed our growth plans,” says Pattern Energy chief executive Mike Garland.

Garland has made no secret of Pattern Energy’s willingness to buy projects from third-party developers, too.

Last week Pattern announced it had bought out AEI’s 38.5% ownership in the 115MW El Arrayan wind farm in Chile, lifting its stake in the project – the largest in South America – to 70%.