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GE steps in to finance $800M Finavera wind farms

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Four projects in British Columbia are part of Finavera’s new focus on wind after setbacks in wave energy pursuits

Fresh off news last week that it was raising money for wind farms in Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Finavera Renewables said today it struck a funding deal with Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric.

Finavera has submitted a bid to get power-purchase agreements with BC Hydo, one of the largest electric utilities in Canada. If successful, Finavera plans to build 295 megawatts of capacity of wind in four locations in northeast British Columbia, referred to as the Bullmoose, Meikle, Wildmare and Tumbler Ridge projects.

Finavera valued the total cost for the four wind farms at $800 million.

The deal gives GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, the exclusive right to fund or arrange equity and debt financing.

Last week, Finavera announced plans to raise $1 million through a non-brokered issue of shares to further develop wind energy projects, primarily for the B.C. Peace Region projects.

Finavera has redirected its focus to wind after its proposed wave-power project off the California coast was rejected by the state Public Utilities Commission for not being an economical source of power.

GE Energy Financial Services, meanwhile, said it has has amassed a $4 billion portfolio of renewable energy projects worldwide.In June, wind made up 80 percent of that portfolio.

Its British Columbia projects include a 196-megawatt East Toba River/Montrose Creek run-of-river hydroelectric power project. GE is also the leading manufacturer of wind turbines in the U.S.

Finavera said it’s in negotiations with turbine manufacturers for the projects, which consist of:

  • Bullmoose Wind Energy Project, 60 MW

  • Meikle Wind Energy Project, up to 118 MW in two phases

  • Wildmare Wind Energy Project, 72 MW

  • Tumbler Ridge Wind Energy Project, 45 MW

Finavera previously announced in May 2007 that it was pursuing environmental assessment testing for the projects, which were then planned to total 366 MW capacity

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