BlackRock purchases majority interest in OwnEnergy's new 68MW Texas Wind Farm
NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing its leadership role in mid-sized wind development, Brooklyn-based OwnEnergy announced today that it entered into an agreement with a fund managed by BlackRock ("BlackRock"), whereby BlackRock acquired OwnEnergy's latest project in Windthorst, Texas on December 6, 2013. Once completed, the wind farm will generate 68 megawatts (MW) of wind power on to the state's power grid.
Under the agreement, BlackRock will purchase a majority interest in the Windthorst-2 project, Morgan Stanley and its affiliates will provide construction financing and J.P. Morgan will provide institutional equity. OwnEnergy will maintain a minority ownership interest in Windthorst-2, manage its construction, and oversee operations once it comes online. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2013, with commercial operations expected in fall 2014.
"Windthorst-2 is our fifth successful project bringing the total of in-construction and spinning wind farms we've developed to more than 210 megawatts. OwnEnergy's project pipeline now consists of 1,400MW of community-scale wind across 16 states," said OwnEnergy Founder and CEO Jacob Susman. "Adding construction and asset management capabilities to our offering allows us to work directly with world-class financial institutions, like BlackRock, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley, while creating a lasting connection between them and the energy entrepreneurs who are the cornerstone of our development model."
The Windthorst-2 Project marks the second time OwnEnergy has collaborated with energy entrepreneur, Horn Wind. The Windthorst, TX family-owned business was established in 2006 to bring wind development to the region. In 2008, OwnEnergy and Horn Wind developed and sold Windthorst-1, now known as the Bobcat Bluff Wind Farm.
"We view the involvement of a financial institution of BlackRock's caliber as reinforcement that OwnEnergy is a permanent, long-term fixture of the US wind industry," continued Susman.
Jim Barry, Managing Director at BlackRock, commented: "We are pleased to have invested in the Texas wind energy sector and in particular through the Windthorst-2 project. We look forward to developing our relationship with such a high quality asset developer as OwnEnergy."
The project is expected to create 95 to 125 temporary construction jobs and 5 to 7 long-term positions during the operation of the wind farm. The Windthorst-2 project will also bring approximately $42.8 million in economic impact to the region. Once operational, the wind farm will feature 28 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines.
OwnEnergy is the national leader in community scale wind energy development that enables landowners and communities to build and profit directly from their own local wind farms. The Company works in partnership with its nationwide network of energy entrepreneurs to develop the approximately 1,400MW of community-scale wind farms in its pipeline. OwnEnergy has a breakthrough business model for the profitable and capital-efficient development of these mid-size wind farms that involves community ownership and proprietary development systems. The power of the company's business model is proven by the 210MW of community scale wind it has already successfully developed. OwnEnergy is based in Brooklyn, New York and is active in sixteen US states. For more information about OwnEnergy visit www.ownenergy.net.
About BlackRock Inc.
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management, and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At September 30, 2013, BlackRock's AUM was $4.1 trillion. BlackRock helps clients meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of September 30, 2013, the firm has approximately 11,200 employees in 30 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.blackrock.com.