The November/December 2007 issue of Rural Cooperatives, a magazine published by USDA Rural Development, features wind energy.
The issue includes stories about:
- the Minwind projects in Luverne, MN,
- how USDA 9006 grants are supporting wind energy in Iowa,
- the technician training program at Iowa Lakes Community College,
- the Trimont, MN wind project,
- the Corn Plus Ethanol plant wind project in Winnebago, MN,
- Basin Electric Power Cooperative's wind initatives,
- Illinois Rural Electric Coop's wind turbine, and
- a great piece about opportunities for coops to participate in wind energy.
IRS bulletin 2007-45 (skip to page 967) provides a summary of IRS Rev Proc 2007-65 which establishes a safe harbor for the allocation of tax credits for wind projects that use a flip business structure.
Westwood provides quality engineering, surveying, planning, and environmental solutions that support utility- and commercial-scale wind and solar projects, and the rebuild and construction of electric transmission lines and substations. We were established in 1972 and serve our clients nationally from multiple offices. Westwood is preferred by builders, developers, and contractors across the country.
Location: Minnesota, but work with clients nationwide
On November 29th – 30th, the meeting Wind Energy and Transmission: The South Dakota Landscapewill be held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The meeting will focus on wind and transmission issues relevant to South Dakota, including the following topics:
Wind power is on a 25% annual growth curve. Looming carbon caps will pressure munis and IOU’s to add wind to their power supply. The capital is flowing. And FERC is actively addressing transmission access; soon the grid will be able to absorb much larger volumes of wind-generated power.
What does it really take to bring a wind farm successfully to market? What can the numbers look like, and what kinds of business models and financing vehicles will be best suited to your unique needs?
This report from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory was released in September, 2007. The report, titled "Wind Project Financing Structures: A Review & Comparative Analysis," was authored by John Harper (Birch Tree Capital, LLC), Matt Karcher (Deacon Harbor Financial, L.P.), and Mark Bolinger (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program.
The rapid expansion in the U.S. wind power industry over the past few years has required the mobilization of a tremendous amount of capital. In 2007 alone, for example, an estimated $6 billion will be invested in new wind projects in the U.S. To attract this kind of capital, the wind power sector has, in recent years, developed multiple financing structures to manage project risk and allocate Federal tax incentives to those entities that can use them most efficiently. These structures are the underlying focus of this report.
Specifically, the purpose of this report is three-fold: (1) to survey recent trends in the financing of utility-scale wind projects in the United States, (2) to describe in some detail the seven principal financing structures through which most utility-scale wind projects (excluding utility-owned projects) have been financed from 1999 to the present, and (3) to help understand the impact of these seven structures on the levelized cost of energy from wind power.
The seven structures -- which range from simple balance-sheet finance to several varieties of all-equity partnership "flip" structures to leveraged structures -- feature varying combinations of equity capital from project developers and third-party tax-oriented investors, and in some cases commercial debt. Their origins stem from variations in the financial capacity and business objectives of wind project developers, coupled with the investment risk tolerance and objectives of the tax-oriented investors and debt providers.
The full report (including an executive summary) can be downloaded from:
In addition, a high-level PowerPoint summary of the document is available at:
[Text of this item is adapted with minor changes from from a 09/2007 LBNL press release.]