A consortium led by Akuo and composed of Harrison Street, Morgan Stanley, and GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) announced the commissioning of Bennington Wind, a 93.06 MW wind farm located approximately 100 miles southwest of Chicago in Bennington, Illinois.
Bennington Wind is the third wind farm developed and operated by Akuo in North America. The consortium began construction of the wind farm in September 2020 and the project was fully operational on schedule. Bennington Wind delivers significant economic benefits to Marshall County and the State of Illinois, having already created an estimated 350 jobs during construction, 150 of which were filled by residents of Marshall County.
Over the operational life of the wind farm, the project is expected to generate over $19 million in property taxes with $12.1 million going to local schools. The forecasted production of Bennington Wind would power more than 33,000 Illinois homes and offset the equivalent of more than 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide during each year of operation, equal to more than 9 million tons of avoided carbon emissions over the project’s 30-year life.
Harrison Street is Akuo’s cash equity partner on Bennington Wind. This investment represents Harrison Street’s fourth investment in a U.S. wind farm and the first with Akuo. Morgan Stanley was the sole provider of the plant’s construction financing and is exclusive buyer of power and Renewable Energy Credits under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”).
This PPA will deliver a significant portion of Morgan Stanley’s renewable energy required to achieve the firm’s commitment to 100% carbon neutrality and 100% renewable electricity sourcing by 2022. The wind farm’s renewable electricity production will account for 50% of Morgan Stanley’s electricity
consumption and 30% of its carbon footprint globally.
GE EFS is the tax equity provider for this project making this the third successful collaboration with Akuo along with Rocksprings wind farm in Texas and Sterling wind farm in New Mexico. GE Renewable Energy supplied thirty-three 2.82 MW turbines to the project.
Eric Scotto, Chairman and co-founder of Akuo, said “With the Bennington wind plant, Akuo demonstrates that supplying renewable energy to companies interested in the direct purchase of renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, is a solid and fasttrack process. We are honored to have been able to work with partners like Morgan Stanley to help them achieve their environmental goals.”
Christopher Merrill, Harrison Street’s Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said “Harrison Street is committed to investing in renewable energy solutions that support the resiliency