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United States

MeesPierson in Minnesota

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Zond Development Corp's 107 MW Phase II project for Nothern Power Systems in Minnesota is the largest wind farm ever financed by the banking market, according to MeesPierson in the Netherlands, which has been awarded an "arranging mandate" for the project. Construction began last month on the Lake Benton Wind Farm, which will comprise 143 Zond Z-750 kW wind turbines. The model has yet to be commercially operated in a large scale wind farm. MeesPierson NV states the total value of the project, including equity bridge loans and letters of credit, is $112 million. A financing package totalling $124.7 million is being underwritten out of the company's London office. Syndication is expected to take place in early September, continues MeesPierson, primarily in the European banking market "where wind energy financings have been much more common in recent years." Zond Development Corp is subsidiary of Enron Wind Corp, formerly Zond Corporation. MeesPierson's involvement in wind energy to date includes part ownership of Vestas of Denmark, the world's largest wind company, owned by Vestas Wind Systems Holding of the Netherlands. Among the owners of the holding company is MeesPierson.

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