BlackRock buys into new Texas wind projects

(AP File Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
(AP File Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

A New York private equity firm is buying up a stake in several recently completed Texas wind farm projects.

The BlackRock private investment firm has partnered with San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy to buy a 50 percent interest in new wind projects, most recently the 200-megawatt Longhorn Wind project that EDF announced in June had become operational. The deal was finalized Tuesday. The Texas Panhandle wind farm is located between Lubbock and Amarillo.

While the terms are not being disclosed, BlackRock also recently bought a 50 percent stake in the new, 200-megawatt Hereford Wind Project, which is southwest of Amarillo.

The projects are part of a slew of wind projects recently developed in the Panhandle and West Texas thanks to state’s $7 billion Competitive Renewable Energy Zones, or CREZ, project to build 3,500 miles of transmission lines carry power from wind farms to the more populated parts of the state.

Although the terms are not yet done, BlackRock also plans to buy into EDF’s Spinning Spur 3 wind project near Amarillo when it is completed later this year. The same plan also applies to EDF’s pending Roosevelt and Milo wind projects in New Mexico.

San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy is the U.S. alternative energy subsidiary of Paris-based Électricité de France, which is the world’s largest producer of electricity.

“With the recent signing of two additional 50 percent sales regarding the New Mexico projects of Roosevelt and Milo, EDF RE has committed 50 percent stakes in 894 megawatts of U.S. wind energy projects to BlackRock since the start of 2015,” said Raphael Declercq, EDF Renewable vice president of portfolio strategy, in a prepared statement. “Those partial sell-downs are an integral part of our divestiture business line.”

As for the most recent project, Longhorn Wind has 100 wind turbines to generate enough electricity to power approximately 55,000 homes and avoid 375,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the equivalent of 80,000 vehicles annually, according to EDF.

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