Pattern to add 179MW in Texas

Pattern Energy says it will acquire 179MW capacity in the 218MW Panhandle I wind project in Texas for $125m in cash from Pattern Development following its expected completion in June.

It will be the third acquisition in a series of anticipated transactions with Pattern Development, and increase wind capacity under Pattern Energy ownership by 14% to 1.434GW comprising 11 projects in the Americas.

Pattern Energy chief executive Mike Garland says the deal, once completed, is an “ideal fit with our strategy of acquiring world-class wind projects with top quality equipment that generate stable and sustainable cash flows.”

Panhandle I is under construction east of Amarillo and consists of 118 General Electric 1.85MW wind turbines. Pattern has contracted 77% of future output under a 13-year energy price hedge, with an A-/Baa2 credit-rated affiliate of Citibank, with the balance to be sold at spot prices with the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas.

Two institutional tax equity investors are acquiring the project’s remaining 39MW of nameplate capacity from Pattern Development.

In December, Pattern Energy agreed to acquire Panhandle 2, a 181.7MW project adjacent to Panhandle 1. Panhandle 2 will reach commercial operation in fourth quarter of this year. It owns 147MW of the project’s nameplate capacity.

Separately, Pattern Energy reported a first quarter net loss of $21.9m compared with $18.8m a year earlier. It said this was primarily due to higher unrealized losses on the company's undesignated interest rate swaps and energy hedge, as well as higher operating expenses associated with being a public company.

Revenue increased 13% to $49.5m on higher electricity sales which pushed earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to $37.2m, up from $34.4m in the year-earlier period.