Finnish investors Taaleri Energia enter US market

UNITED STATES: A Finnish investment group's energy division has acquired its first wind farm in the US.

Taaleri Energia manages 312.3MW of operational wind farms in its native Finland

Taaleri Energia, part of the Taaleri Group, bought the 277MW Truscott-Gilliland East project in northwestern Texas from Truscott Gilliland Wind for approximately $350 million (€283 million).

It fully owns the project, but is developing it alongside clean energy investors NorthRenew Power, which had previously financed projects developed by Chermac Energy.

Chermac had set up Truscott Gilliland Wind as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to handle the early stages of development for the 277MW project.

Taaleri Energia is currently in the tender process for the turbines to be used at the site in Knox County, it stated.

The Finnish company expects to finalise the layout of the site as well as the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract this spring.

It plans to begin negotiating the full financing package for the project in mid-2018, and will be seeking co-investors for the site, the company stated.

Taaleri Energia expects the final investment decision (FID) will be made in the first quarter of 2019, before the project is commissioned in the first quarter of 2020.

Taamir Fareed, who is in charge of Taaleri Energia’s US operations, said: "This project is located in a strong wind area with excellent grid connectivity.

"By avoiding areas within (the domain of) ERCOT (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas) plagued by high levels of curtailment, the Truscott-Gilliland East project represents and excellent first American project for Taaleri."

Taaleri Energia partly owns nine completed wind power projects with a combined capacity of 312.3MW in its home country, as well as the 158MW Cibuk wind farm, which is under construction in Serbia.

The investors identified North America as one of its key growth markets due to "the falling cost of renewable technologies and flexible policy instruments", and the prevalence of corporate power purchase deals for renewable energy, Taaleri Energia stated.

It plans to expand its US portfolio with new wind and solar projects this year, it added.