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Algonquin Power buys into 480-MW Texas wind farm development

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. invested in developing the 480-MW Maverick Creek Wind Project in Concho County, Texas, originally undertaken by Renewable Energy Systems Ltd.

The project was originally developed by Roaring Fork Wind LLC, a joint venture partnership between Renewable Energy Systems, or RES, and Steelhead Americas LLC, the development arm of Vestas Wind Systems A/S in North America.

CIBC Capital Markets was Roaring Fork's exclusive financial adviser, according to an Aug. 12 news release from RES.

The companies expect to start construction in September and to complete the wind project in late 2020. The project is financed through a virtual 15-year power purchase agreement for renewable energy credits with food producer General Mills Inc.

Algonquin CEO Ian Robertson said on company's second-quarter earnings call Aug. 9 that he expects Maverick Creek to qualify for 100% of the U.S. production tax credit for wind energy projects.

"The Maverick Creek project provides additional flexibility in the timetable for development of the other already-identified projects which are included in our pipeline," Robertson said. "In essence, we believe undertaking this near-term development opportunity effectively de-risks the execution on the rest of our growth pipeline."

Maverick Creek's total capital cost is about $700 million, with Algonquin's equity after production tax credit considerations at about $250 million, Robertson said.

Robertson noted that Algonquin and RES had partnered to develop the Deerfield Wind Project in Michigan; Algonquin acquired RES' share in 2017.