GE and the Green Investment Group have sealed a deal to buy and develop the largest single-site onshore wind farm in Europe.
The two companies plan to deliver and operate the 650 MW Markbygden ETT wind farm in northern Sweden, having jointly purchased the project from Svevind and invested more than €300 million to finance it.
The transaction is Green Investment Group’s first equity investment following its acquisition by Macquarie and its first investment outside the UK.
The two partner companies have raised approximately €800 million in finance and have already started construction of the project, which will be equipped with 179 of GE’s 3.6 MW wind turbines. The project is underpinned by a 19-year fixed volume power purchase agreement (PPA) with Norsk Hydro, a contract that is thought to be the largest corporate wind energy PPA in the world.
Edward Northam, Head of the Green Investment Group in Europe, said: “This project is a landmark transaction on many fronts and represents the new frontier in European onshore wind. It demonstrates that in the right market, with the right location, the right technology and the right partners, it is possible to develop and attract private capital into new onshore wind farms.”
The project was financed on a non-recourse project financing basis with close to €500 million in debt financing secured from European Investment Bank (EIB), Export Credit Guarantees of the Federal Republic of Germany (Hermes Cover), NordLB, KfW IPEX-Bank and HSH Nordbank.
The Markbygden ETT project was developed over 15 years by Swedish wind developer Svevind. In total, its development work in the Markbygden area may lead to 1101 wind turbines becoming operational, in what would be the largest collection of wind farms in Europe.
The project will be realized on properties owned by Sveaskog Förvaltnings AB, Sweden’s largest forest owner, SCA Skogsfastigheter AB, the largest private forest holding in Europe, and several private property owners.