Deepwater Gets Financing for First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm

(Bloomberg) — Deepwater Wind LLC received $290 million in

financing that will allow it to begin building its Block Island

offshore wind project in Rhode Island, the first one in the U.S.

“We’ll have steel in the water this summer,” Chief

Executive Officer Jeff Grybowski, a former chief of staff to the

governor of Rhode Island, said Monday in a telephone interview.

“It’s an enormous step for the project, and it’s an equally

enormous step for the offshore wind industry in the U.S.”

Other U.S. offshore wind projects have struggled to reach

completion. The $2.6 billion Cape Wind project off Massachusetts

has been under development for 13 years, stalled by legal

battles with local fishermen and Native American tribes. Two

utilities in January filed to cancel power-purchase agreements

with the 468-megawatt project after it missed a Dec. 31 deadline

to complete financing.

Deepwater won a July 2013 U.S. government auction to

develop wind farms off the coasts of Rhode Island and

Massachusetts. The Providence, Rhode Island-based company also

has proposed a project as large as 1.2 gigawatts off the coast

of Long Island.

“Deepwater Wind succeeded where Cape Wind failed — they

chose a less controversial site and a more manageable size,”

said Amy Grace, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“This is a major milestone.”

The $290 million in debt financing is from Societe Generale

SA and KeyBank NA. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. D.E. Shaw

& Co., the $36 billion New York-based hedge fund, also

contributed about $70 million in equity to Block Island.

The 30-megawatt wind farm will use five 6-megawatt turbines

manufactured by Alstom SA. They are scheduled to be installed in

mid-2016, with the project expected to be operational by the end

of that year. National Grid Plc has agreed to buy the wind

farm’s output under a 20-year contract.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Justin Doom in New York at

jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Reed Landberg at

landberg@bloomberg.net

Tina Davis, Carlos Caminada

About BloombergNEF

BloombergNEF (BNEF), Bloomberg’s primary research service, covers clean energy, advanced transport, digital industry, innovative materials and commodities. We help corporate strategy, finance and policy professionals navigate change and generate opportunities.

Available online, on mobile and on the Terminal, BNEF is powered by Bloomberg’s global network of 19,000 employees in 176 locations, reporting 5,000 news stories a day.
 
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter →

Want to learn how we help our clients put it all together? Contact us