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D E Shaw Renewable Investments acquires 300-MW Balko Wind from Apex Clean Energy

D E Shaw Renewable Investments has acquired Balko Wind, a wind energy project in Beaver County, Oklahoma from Apex Clean Energy (Apex).  

Apex developed the 300 MW project and sold it to an affiliate of DESRI in late 2014. Financing for the acquisition and construction of the project was provided by Santander Bank, NA, KeyBank, NA, Citi, and Banco de Sabadell, SA. Commitments for tax equity financing were provided by affiliates of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, General Electric Capital Corp, Google Inc, and Citi. CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities, LLC acted as advisor to DESRI for the tax equity financing. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Apex is an independent renewable energy company with a large pipeline of near-term wind projects in the US and a strong record of success. Apex began developing Balko in 2009 and oversaw the start of the construction by Mortenson Construction the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor. DESRI is a member of the D E Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm. DESRI will oversee the completion of construction and manage the project once operational, which is expected to be in the late summer of 2015.

Once completed, Balko Wind will comprise 162 GE 1.85-87 wind turbines and is expected to produce enough energy to power about 111,000 homes. The project benefits from one of the strongest wind resources in the state of Oklahoma and has signed power purchase agreements with the Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative. Over its lifetime, the project is expected to generate an estimated USD33.75 million in new tax revenue for Beaver County and local schools. It is also expected to support about USD196 million in local purchasing and $68 million in new payroll regionally, while directly creating a dozen long-term, high-quality local jobs.

“Balko Wind will deliver clean, cheap power to Oklahoma utilities, while offering long-term predictable returns for infrastructure investors,” says Mark Goodwin, Apex Clean Energy President. “This transaction highlights Apex’s broad capabilities to deliver attractive clean energy investment opportunities to our financial partners.”

Bryan Martin, a managing director and head of US Private Equity for the D E Shaw group, says: “We are pleased to close on the acquisition of Balko, which we believe will be a valuable addition to DESRI’s renewable energy portfolio. We are confident that this project will benefit the community of Beaver County for years to come.”

“As the Executive Director of the Panhandle Regional Economic Development Coalition (PREDCI), I am excited to welcome the Balko Wind project into our region,” says Vicki Ayers-Portman, Executive Director of PREDCI. “Oklahoma is blessed with abundant wind energy resources that can create local jobs, catalyse new local business, and supply taxes to our counties and schools, while helping our farmers and ranchers diversify their income. High-quality facilities like Balko Wind will strengthen our local economies as we help power our nation’s way into the future.”

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