Illinois wind project foreclosure has similarities to Buckeye Wind in Ohio

 The 240 MW Big Sky project (Illinois) is in trouble as Edison Mission is unable to repay the loan on the wind development made by the turbine manufacturer, Suzlon.  This is an important story about another wind project in the PJM grid system which also serves Ohio

Big Sky does not have a long term power purchase agreement and sells on the spot market where it has been unable, despite grants and subsidies, to earn a sufficient return.  Please note the red highlights below. There are similarities here between Big Sky and Everpower’s Buckeye and Scioto Ridge projects.  Right now, we understand that Everpower does not have a long term power purchase agreement, does not have federal subsidies, probably does not have an investor and the spot market apparently can’t provide an attractive return in the PJM system.    For these and other reasons, we believe Jason Dagger provided mulitple (delayed) start date options for Buckeye Wind in the Springfield News Sun article yesterday.  

And, finally, please add “ouch!” in your head as you read the prices stated below that are necessary to meet the minimum acceptable rate of return for the investors. That is a HUGE electricity rate increase for consumers!!!

Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL), the Indian wind-turbine maker in default on $209 million of bonds, may take over one of Illinois’ biggest wind farms if it’s unable to collect a loan it made for the project….

The plant doesn’t have a long-term buyer for its power and sells at spot prices into the regional U.S. electricity market. It may not earn a minimum acceptable rate of return at current wholesale electricity prices, said Amy Grace, a New York-based wind analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance….

Most wind farms sign 20-year power sale agreements with a utility to lock in prices and secure revenue streams. Big Sky doesn’t have one and sells its output on the spot market in the 13-state PJM Interconnection LLC grid, Edison Mission spokesman Douglas McFarlan said in a Feb. 18 e-mail.

 

The average 24-hour price near Big Sky last year was about $35 a megawatt-hour, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Including tax credits and a government clean-energy cash grant, Big Sky may have earned an average of $67 a megawatt-hour last year, BNEF’s Grace estimated.

 The project probably needs to earn $80 a megawatt-hour on average over its lifetime to meet a 10 percent hurdle rate, or the minimum acceptable rate of return for an investor, she said…

via Suzlon Considers Foreclosure on Illinois Wind Farm – Bloomberg.

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