BSF Represents Caithness in Completion of Financing for World's Largest Wind Farm
Firm Newsletter Spring 2011
BSF continued its representation in 2010 of Caithness Energy, L.L.C., an independent power producer headquartered in New York City, in connection with the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind farm development in Oregon. With a capacity of 845 megawatts, the project when completed will be the largest land-based wind farm in the world.
BSF began its work in 2008-2009 representing Caithness as sponsor in connection with the complex equity financing for Shepherds Flat between Caithness and GE Energy Financial Services. In 2010, BSF represented Caithness as the Managing Member of the project in connection with stage two of the financing: $1.3 billion in debt financing. With the debt financing closed, Shepherds Flat is now positioned to complete the development.
This second stage of financing, which closed in mid-December 2010, was joint lead arranged by Citibank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., RBS Securities and WestLB Securities, Inc., and carries an 80% guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. The debt package consists of $525 million in fixed rate privately placed bonds, $675 million in floating rate loans and $230 million of letters of credit.
Shepherds Flat is the largest project to receive a federal loan guarantee under the Department of Energy’s Financial Institution Partnership Program to date.
The deal symbolizes a national shift towards funding renewable energy projects. The financing was “a great holiday gift for Eastern Oregon,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, “and it couldn’t come at a better time.” U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu also illustrated the deal as a paradigm of new renewable energy–based policy initiatives. “Thanks to the Recovery Act,” he announced on December 16, 2010, “we are creating the clean energy jobs of the future while positioning the U.S. as a world leader in the production of renewable energy.”
Partners Christopher Boies and Jason Hill and associates Michael Grisolia, Lauren Newell and Laura Sullivan from the Firm’s Corporate Group advised Caithness. The representation included representing the Managing Member’s interests and advising on its obligations in connection with the debt financing.
Related Practice: Corporate