200MW Bekevar Wind Farm reaches financial close
- Renewable energy investment platform, Innagreen, and Cowessess First Nation-owned entity, Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development Limited Partnership (‘ANEDLP’), buy Bekevar Wind Farm from RES
- Bekevar will help drive Saskatchewan’s transition from coal to renewables
- The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is investing $173 million towards the clean energy project
- NORD/LB is also providing financing for the transaction, enabling the project to move forward to construction phase
Kipling, SK – Innagreen, the global renewable energy investment platform, and Cowessess First Nation-owned entity Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development Limited Partnership (‘ANEDLP’), today announce their joint acquisition of the 200MW Bekevar wind energy project from RES. Financing from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and NORD/LB will ensure the project moves forward to construction.
This key milestone will enable the pioneering Canadian project to move into construction phase. RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, and its First Nation partner have been developing the Bekevar wind project together since 2017.
Bekevar will supply 200MW of zero-emission power to the local grid, providing more than 100,000 homes with clean, sustainable electricity. Saskatchewan’s largest wind power project will help drive the region’s energy transition, moving from coal to renewables. The wind farm is expected to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 130,000 tonnes a year.
Bekevar is situated in the rural municipality of Hazlewood, the rural municipality of Kingsley and on Cowessess First Nation reserve land. Following the multi-party transaction to secure equity and debt financing, the wind project will begin construction in May 2023 and is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2024.
Following the transaction, Innagreen will own 83 per cent of Bekevar and ANEDLP will own 17 per cent. RES will provide construction services, in conjunction with local sub-contractors, and operate and manage the asset.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is loaning $173 million towards the clean energy project, which will integrate more renewable power into the province’s electricity grid. The CIB's long-term capital can ensure critical, large-scale clean energy infrastructure projects are built. NORD/LB is also providing $98 million in debt financing to the project.
ANEDLP will ensure qualified Indigenous contractors and workers benefit from the available construction jobs. The partnership also creates equity investment and training opportunities for Cowessess First Nation members during the development and future operations phases. ANEDLP’s investment in Bekevar Wind marks the Cowessess First Nation’s largest renewable energy project to date and puts them among the leaders in Canada to have a rounded portfolio consisting of both utility scale wind and solar.
The project will generate a meaningful annual return to Cowessess First Nation, which will support continued investment in economic opportunities as well as assist underfunded programs in the community. A series of community engagement events and career fairs will be held in Kipling and Cowessess in the coming months, which will be advertised locally.
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, said: “With this financial support from the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Cowessess First Nation is seizing the economic opportunity offered by the transition to renewable forms of energy. This forward-looking project will create sustainable jobs, cut pollution and benefit Saskatchewanians for decades to come.”
Chief Cadmus Delorme of Cowessess First Nation said: “Cowessess First Nation has been involved in utility scale wind development since 2010. Here we are, 13 years later, having closed financing on our first project with RES and Innagreen. This project will benefit Cowessess First Nation in the business sector and our province in SaskPower’s goal to minimize carbon emissions. Once operational, Bekevar Wind will provide 25+ years of economic prosperity for our community. Achieving financial close is one milestone in the development journey and the team will now turn its attention to further community engagement and construction.”
Innagreen, which provides institutional investors with access to investments in utility-scale renewable energy projects, is backed by global infrastructure asset manager, Morrison & Co.
CEO of Innagreen, Olly Alexander, said: “This project has been a real example of partnership working across the board. We have been working with RES and Cowessess First Nation to bring the project to commercialisation, while the innovative financing package with the CIB and Nord LB has allowed the construction of Bekevar despite tough market conditions, notably around supply chain.”
“Bekevar comes after the recent acquisition of the Hilda Wind Project in Alberta, and we are also focused on additional acquisition opportunities across Canada this year. We are grateful to be working with such excellent partners, RES and ANEDLP, which will ensure Cowessess First Nation members benefit directly from this project through the project income and other employment opportunities.”
CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Ehren Cory, said: “Clean power investments are essential to meeting our climate change goals and ensuring sustainable economic development across the country. Our $173 million investment will help the province curb its reliance on coal-fired generation and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership with a leading owner and operator of renewable energy, and Cowessess First Nation will advance Saskatchewan’s largest wind power facility, and enable Indigenous participation and long-term economic opportunities.”
Global Head of Structured Finance, NORD/LB, Heiko Ludwig, said: “NORD/LB are proud to have supported our client Innagreen and the Cowessess First Nation with the successful financing of a major Canadian wind Energy project with an innovative financing structure. This project is another testament to our commitment to work with our clients globally to finance sustainable energy initiatives, contributing to a greener future. We are also extremely pleased to see the direct benefit the project brings to the local community through the Cowessess First Nation ownership.”