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Invenergy, the leading privately-held global developer, owner, and operator of sustainable energy solutions, announced the start of construction following the close of construction financing for the 250-megawatt Sapphire Sky Wind Energy Center located in McLean County, Illinois.
Sapphire Sky Wind broke ground at the end of 2021 and is scheduled to begin commercial operations in December of 2022. KeyBanc Capital Markets, CaixaBank and National Bank of Canada acted as lead arrangers for the financing, which includes a senior secured construction loan and letter of credit facility.
“We’re proud to be expanding Invenergy’s notable footprint in our home state of Illinois,” said Meghan Schultz, Executive Vice President, Finance and Capital Markets at Invenergy, “The continued collaboration of our valued lender partners, who share our vision of a more sustainable world, make our ambitious but essential projects possible.
Once operational, Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, one of the nation’s premier energy companies, will acquire 90% ownership interest in Sapphire Sky Wind, and Invenergy will retain a minority ownership position.
Invenergy Services, a subsidiary of Invenergy, will oversee Operations and Maintenance while providing Balance of Plant and Administrative Services under a long-term agreement, adding to the more than 13-gigawatt global sustainable energy project portfolio it manages.
“Invenergy Services will be working onsite every day providing best-in-class services to ensure Sapphire Sky Wind operates safely and efficiently,” said Kevin Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Renewable Operations, Invenergy. “The project will add to the 1,344 megawatts of energy facilities currently managed by Invenergy Services in Illinois.”
Sapphire Sky Wind will generate enough electricity to power nearly 80,000 homes each year, while supporting approximately 300 jobs during the 12-month construction period and 9 full-time operations and maintenance jobs once completed. The project will invest more than $170 million in the local community through property taxes, landowner payments, and wages and benefits.
“With construction underway, we’re thrilled to bring new jobs and economic growth to McLean County” said, Art Fletcher, Invenergy’s Executive Vice President of Construction. “We look forward to delivering more reliable, affordable clean energy and investment in our project host communities across Illinois for years to come.”