The US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank has guaranteed financing for the acquisition of turbines from US wind turbine manufacturer Northern Power Systems by an Italian developer.
The wind manufacturer said it will use renewable express financing from the bank to export 55 small turbines to Italy that will be used in community projects.
Ex-Im has agreed to guarantee $22.2m in euro-denominated loans from RB International to facilitate the purchase, which is expected to be the largest US export of its kind. It also represents the first community wind project that Ex-Im Bank helped finance.
‘Supporting exports of US-produced goods and services in the renewable-energy sector is a major commitment of Ex-Im Bank,’ said Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred Hochberg.
‘In fiscal year 2010 we more than tripled our financing for renewable-energy exports and that trend is continuing this year.’
Northern Power Systems is to build the wind turbines at different sites in the Avellino and Benevento provinces in southern Italy.
The turbines will be jointly owned by the special purpose borrowers of the financing, ARG Energie, Eoland and PurEnergy Land, which will sell all of the power produced from the project to government-owned power company Gestore dei Servizi Electtrici.
The Ministry of Finance and Economy that administers Italy’s renewable-energy programmes will indirectly own the wind farms, which will be eligible for feed-in tariffs that are fixed for 15 years. Ex-Im’s guarantee of the acquisition is said to support the 15-year repayment terms required under the tariff.
Ex-Im Bank’s Renewable Express, which provides streamlined limited-recourse project financing to small renewable-power producers that meet the bank’s credit standards, was responsible for processing the transactions.
The turbine sale is expected to support at least 15 jobs at Northern Power Systems’ production facility in Barre and generate additional jobs in the supply chain.
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