Ex-Im project financing gives lift to Clipper
Clipper Windpower, based in Carpinteria, Calif., has entered the global market by exporting 27 2.5-megawatt wind turbines to Mexico, backed by a $80.66 million direct loan from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
It’s the first export of Clipper’s giant wind turbines outside the United States. It also marks the first Ex-Im Bank project financing for a wind power transaction, and the first large U.S. wind technology sale in Latin America.
Electra del Valle de Mexico (EVM), the project company, is using Clipper’s equipment to build a 67.5-megawatt wind farm at La Ventosa-La Mata in Oaxaca, Mexico. The area is considered one of the world’s windiest spots with average wind speeds of 12 meters per second, and a total estimated wind resource of 6,000 megawatts. EVM is owned by France’s EDF Energies Nouvelle.
“This transaction will provide a catalyst for future international sales which Clipper has been actively working to develop in Mexico and other countries,” said Doug Pertz, Clipper’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “The ability to export turbines sets the stage for increased future jobs here in the U.S. as we increase orders to our suppliers and ramp up our local operations.”
Clipper’s wind turbines are made at facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The company also has operations throughout the United States.
According to the Ex-Im Bank, the Oaxaca project is expected to become operational in December. It will deliver electrical energy under 15-year self-supply agreements to four subsidiaries of Wal-Mart de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V.
Ex-Im Bank was able to provide project financing for the project because of flexible terms allowed under the recently agreed upon Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Renewable Energy and Water Projects Understanding.