Dept. of Energy Finalizes Loan Guarantee to Support World's Largest Wind Project

U.S. Dept. of Energy grants partial loan for Caithness Shepherds Flat project, 845-megawatt wind facility will create hundreds of jobs, avoid over 1.2 millions tons of carbon dioxide annually.


U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced that a partial loan guarantee for a $1.3B loan has been finalized to support the world's largest wind farm. The loan will finance the Caithness Shepherds Flat project, an 845-megawatt wind generation facility located in eastern Oregon sponsored by Caithness Energy, LLC and GE Energy Financial Services.

According to company estimates, the project will directly employ 400 workers during construction and 35 workers during operation. The company projects the wind farm will avoid over 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide from approximately 200,000 passenger vehicles.

The Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project will use 338 GE 2.5xl wind turbines, which are designed to provide high efficiency and increased reliability, and grid integration. The wind farm is the first in North America to deploy these turbines, which have been used in Europe and Asia. Once completed, the project will sell 100 percent of the power and renewable energy credits generated to Southern California Edison under 20-year fixed price power purchase agreements.

The Caithness Shepherds Flat project is the sixth Recovery Act-supported project to close and the largest to date to receive a loan guarantee under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP). The $1.3B loan is funded by a group of 26 institutional investors and commercial banks led by Citi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., RBS Securities and WestLB Securities, Inc. The closing of this transaction reflects the market acceptability of the loan guarantee model under FIPP, including cooperation among multiple creditors.

The Department of Energy, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees, or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees, to support 16 clean energy projects totaling nearly $16.5B. Together, the 16 projects total over 37 million megawatt-hours of capacity, which will produce enough clean energy to power over 3.3 million homes. Additional DOE-supported projects include two of the world's largest solar thermal projects and a 2,200 megawatt nuclear power plant - the nation's first in three decades.

U.S. Department of Energy, Loan Program Office

- Edited by Gust Gianos, Consulting-Specifying Engineer

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.