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Second offer of wind emission credits -- Financing trend established

For the second month in a row, a request for proposals (RFP) has been issued in the US for purchase of emissions credits from a new wind plant as part of its financing package. This time, the proposed wind plant -- the Mill Run project -- is 15.6 MW of installed capacity in Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania. In March, the California developer SeaWest announced it was seeking bids for a 44.4 MW wind plant in southern California (Windpower Monthly, April 2000).

The new RFP -- for purchase of emissions reduction credits, green power and green certificates from the project -- was issued on April 10 by Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp of Virginia in combination with a US developer and wind farm owner, International Wind Corp of Dallas, and an environmental consumer group Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future. Deadline for submissions was April 27. "The Mill Run project brings together rural economic development and a cleaner environment for the state," says John Hangar, president and CEO of the group and a former commissioner on the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.

"The Mill Run wind project is well positioned as an early entrant into the burgeoning green power market in the mid-Atlantic region," adds Theo de Wolff, principal of Atlantic Renewable. Construction is to begin in August with completion by the end of the year. Atlantic Renewable, which focuses on wind development in the eastern US, was initially behind an 11.5 MW wind farm in Madison County, New York, groundbreaking for which started April 14. Development of the project is now lead by PG&E Corporation.

Shortlist

The market for private trading in emissions credits is taking off swiftly, especially in North America. SeaWest of San Diego is now negotiating with a short list of five "qualifying bids" in its Mountain View Partners Project. Each of the bidders -- whose names are not being released -- is potentially interested in buying emissions reduction credits, buying into the project equity, or in trading the project's green output on California's Automated Power Exchange (APX). A total of 35 bids were received, says the company's Dave Roberts. The winning bid were to be announced on May 1.

The emissions trading market is promising but so far small. Credits in a wind plant are not as cheap as, say, as sequestering a tract of C02 mitigating forest, or in landfill methane capture. "But it's a very valid source of income for wind energy in the future," says Neil Cohn, a senior broker with NatSource, an international institutional energy broker in New York. It is NatSource that is handling another emissions trading deal in a sizeable wind farm to be announced in early May (Windpower Monthly, April 2000). Also tantalising is the company's apparent involvement in two more wind energy emissions bids, both in Latin America. NatSource said it could not release details of the projects for some months.

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