Starwood seals 211MW Texas project

Private investment firm Starwood Energy Group Global says it has completed agreements to finance and construct the first 211MW phase of its Stephens Ranch project in the Texas Panhandle.

Starwood, based in Connecticut, has awarded a supply contract to General Electric for 1.7-100 wind turbines. The project, to be located 45-miles south of Lubbock, is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter.

Affiliates of GE Energy Financial Services, Banco Santander and Citi have committed to invest tax equity in the project, and affiliates of Starwood Energy Group have committed 100% of the cash equity.

Santander Bank, NA and Citi are also providing a non-recourse construction debt facility (including a letters of credit facility) totaling approximately $265m. Additional financial details were not disclosed.

"For our first wind investment, we are pleased to have assembled a strong team of very experienced lenders, tax equity investors and contractors," says Himanshu Saxena, managing director of Starwood Energy Group.

An investment affiliate of Starwood Energy Group acquired Stephens Ranch in August 2013 from Mesa Power, an entity owned by activist energy investor T. Boone Pickens.

"This transaction enabled us to combine our Texas wind energy investing expertise with the skills of our tax equity partners, Santander and Citi, to support Starwood Energy on this wind farm, a well-structured project using proven technology," says Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of power and renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.

Plans call for a second, 166MW project phase. Starwood did not provide a timetable for its construction.