Renewable Energy Pioneer Receives $19.4 Million in Treasury Grants
San Diego – Cannon Power Group has received $19.4 million in federal renewable energy grants to spur construction of its 400-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Washington state whose energy will be used by California municipalities.
This is the first of over $170 million in Treasury grants Cannon expects to receive in the next few months as it completes the build out of its Windy Point/Windy Flats project. The stimulus funds are part of a program within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act designed to encourage such renewable energy projects.
“This project brought more than 300 construction jobs and additional permanent positions,” said Gary Hardke, Cannon’s president and managing director. “New roads also help area farmers and ranchers, and wind turbine leases generate income and a much needed financial cushion for many area families. With the significant revenue and opportunities for the local community, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
With a total investment of over $1 billion, Windy Point/Windy Flats will be completed in just 18 months at a time when many projects are struggling to get financing and bring renewable energy online. When completed, it will be one of the largest wind farms in the nation and will produce enough clean electricity for over 250,000 households per year.
Last month Cannon closed a $178 million financing deal with Siemens Financial Services, Inc. to help fund an expansion of the project. The power is being purchased by the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) under an innovative arrangement involving SCPPA’s pre-payment of a 20-year block of power with the proceeds of tax-exempt bond issuance of over $500 million. SCPPA will also receive an option to purchase the project after five years.
Federal stimulus dollars come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed by President Obama in February 2009. The Act allows developers of alternative energy projects to apply for a grant totaling up to 30 percent of the eligible costs of a project. Grants are available for projects that able to qualify during 2009 or 2010.