Mesquite Sky wind farm will support sustainability goals through long-term virtual power purchase agreements
SAN FRANCISCO – Clearway Energy Group (“Clearway”) announced today that it commenced construction on Mesquite Sky, a 345 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Callahan County, Texas. Clearway also closed $427 million in construction debt financing, for which Mizuho Bank, Ltd. acted as the coordinating lead arranger and with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), MUFG Bank, Ltd., Santander Bank N.A., and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) each acting as mandated lead arrangers.
“As we expand our footprint in Texas, we’re humbled to be a part of an industry that employs thousands of residents, stimulates billions in investments, and positions the Lone Star State as a twenty-first century energy leader,” said Natalie Jackson, Head of Capital Markets at Clearway Energy Group. “Wind farms like Mesquite Sky are driving the transition to clean, low-cost, and reliable power that residents and businesses want. We’re grateful for our customers and partners who will help bring Mesquite Sky to life, including Deere & Company, Whirlpool Corporation, and our lending partners.”
Once operational, Mesquite Sky will sell power under long-term virtual power purchase agreements to support the sustainability commitments of corporate customers Deere & Company and Whirlpool Corporation.
“John Deere’s commitment to this large renewable project is delivering sustainable results for the company’s aggressive renewable electricity and GHG reduction targets,” said Wallas Wiggins, VP of Global Supply Management and Logistics at John Deere. “Our commitment addresses approximately 25% of our global electricity, in a long-term partnership with this renewable project – another leap forward in sustainability for our customers, our operations, and our world.”
“As one of the largest consumers of on-site renewable energy in the Fortune 500, we are pleased to collaborate with Clearway to help drive significant progress towards our science-based carbon emission reduction targets,” said Winn Everhart Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations, Whirlpool Corporation. “This partnership enables our U.S. operations to provide clean, renewable energy to the consumers who use our innovative and energy-efficient appliances every day.”
The project will have a total of 69 turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Mesquite Sky construction is being led by EPC partner Blattner Energy, representing the fourth project Blattner has constructed for Clearway in the last 4 years. Clearway also partnered in development and pre-construction services for the project with NorthRenew Energy, which had been the original developer for the project.
The project will support up to 450 construction jobs andseveral permanent jobs and will drive significant local economic development, including more than $300,000 in local spending during construction and $173 million in landowner payments and property tax revenue over the life of the project. Earlier this year, the project contributed to organizations providing local coronavirus relief, including to the Callahan County food bank.
Mesquite Sky is expected to reach commercial operations in late 2021. In December, Clearway announced a joint equity transaction for a 1.6 GW portfolio that includes Mesquite Sky.