CALGARY, Alberta (December 2, 2021) – TransAlta Renewables Inc. (“TransAlta Renewables” or the “Company”) (TSX: RNW) announced today that its 206.4 MW Windrise wind facility (the “Windrise Facility”) achieved commercial operation on November 10, 2021. The Company also announced that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Windrise Wind LP (the “Issuer”), has priced a secured green bond offering by way of private placement for approximately $173 million (the “Offering”).
“This is our tenth wind facility in Alberta and is the first project to reach commercial operation out of the eight projects awarded through the second and third rounds of the Alberta Electric System Operator’s Renewable Electricity Program,” said Todd Stack, President. “The completion of the Windrise Facility during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates our team’s execution capabilities and commitment to delivering on our customers’ needs for clean electricity.”
The Windrise Facility is located roughly 20 km southwest of Fort Macleod on approximately 11,000 acres of privately-owned land. The project consists of 43 Siemens Gamesa 4.8MW turbines. The Windrise Facility is TransAlta Renewables’ largest wind farm to-date and has a 20-year offtake agreement with the Alberta Electric System Operator (the “AESO”).
The Offering will be secured by, among other things, a first ranking charge over all assets of the Issuer, subject to the security granted by the Issuer to the AESO for certain amounts that may become owing to the AESO in certain circumstances. The bonds will be amortizing and will bear interest from their date of issue at a rate of 3.41% per annum and mature on September 30, 2041. Payments on the bonds will be interest-only to and including December 31, 2022, with quarterly blended payments of principal and interest commencing on March 31, 2023. The bonds are aligned with the four-components of the 2021 International Capital Markets Association Green Bond Principles.
The Issuer intends to use proceeds of the Offering to, among other things, repay all amounts owing by the Issuer pursuant to an intercompany construction loan agreement entered into in connection with the Windrise Facility, make advances to TransAlta Renewables on a subordinated basis pursuant to an intercompany loan agreement, the proceeds of which will be used to finance or refinance eligible green projects, including renewable energy facilities and to fund a construction reserve account. Closing of the financing is expected to occur on or around December 6, 2021.
Windrise Facility Highlights:
- Average annual EBITDA of $20-$22 million;
- Total capital cost of approximately $280-$285 million;
- Long-term contracted cashflows with a high investment grade counterparty; and
- Extends the contracted duration of the Company’s cashflows
The securities mentioned herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, any state securities laws or the laws of any other jurisdiction, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements. The securities mentioned herein have not been and will not be qualified for distribution to the public under applicable Canadian securities laws and, accordingly, any offer and sale of the securities in Canada will be made on a basis which is exempt from the prospectus and dealer registration requirements of such securities laws. The securities will be offered and sold in Canada on a private placement basis only to “accredited investors”. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in the United States, Canada or any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
About TransAlta Renewables Inc.
TransAlta Renewables is among the largest of any publicly traded renewable independent power producers (“IPP”) in Canada. Our asset platform and economic interests are diversified in terms of geography, generation and counterparties and consist of interests in 27 wind facilities, 13 hydroelectric facilities, eight natural gas generation facilities, twenty-one solar facilities, one natural gas pipeline, and one battery storage project, representing an ownership interest of 2,966 megawatts of owned generating capacity, located in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, the States of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, North Carolina, and the State of Western Australia. Our objectives are to (i) provide stable, consistent returns for investors through the ownership of, and investment in, highly contracted renewable and natural gas power generation and other infrastructure assets that provide stable cash flow primarily through long-term contracts with strong counterparties; (ii) pursue and capitalize on strategic growth opportunities in the renewable and natural gas power generation and other infrastructure sectors; (iii) maintain diversity in terms of geography, generation and counterparties; and (iv) pay out 80 to 85 per cent of cash available for distribution to the shareholders of the Company on an annual basis.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “future oriented financial information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, and “forward-looking statements”, within the meaning of applicable United States securities laws, including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively referred to herein as “forward-looking statements”). All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “plans”, “expects”, “proposed”, “will”, “anticipates”, “develop”, “continue”, and similar expressions suggesting future events or the Issuer’s future performance. In particular, this news release contains, without limitation, forward-looking statements pertaining to the completion of the Offering and the timing thereof and the use of the proceeds of the Offering, legislative or regulatory developments, competition, global capital markets activity, changes in prevailing interest rates, currency exchange rates, inflation levels, commodity prices and general economic conditions in the geographic areas where we operate. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, having regard to the Company’s experience and its perception of historical trends, and includes, but is not limited to, that there will be no material changes to existing applicable legislation, there will be no material defaults by the counterparties to agreements with the Issuer or its affiliates, that general economic and industry conditions in the jurisdictions in which the Company conducts and will conduct its business will remain stable in relation to current general and industry conditions and that all approvals and satisfaction of all conditions to the completion of the Offering will be satisfied. The forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause such differences include: the regulatory and political environments and general economic conditions in the jurisdictions in which the Company operates; operational risks involving the Issuer’s wind facility; increased funding costs and market volatility due to market illiquidity and competition for funding; effects of weather, catastrophes and public health crises, including COVID-19; strategic, credit, market risks (including changes in prevailing interest rates, foreign exchange rates, credit spreads, inflation levels and commodity prices) and other risks and uncertainties discussed in the Company’s materials filed with the securities regulatory authorities from time to time and as also set forth in the Company’s MD&A and Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2020. The financial guidance has been prepared by management to provide an outlook of the Company’s activities and results, and such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company’s expectations only as of the date of this news release. TransAlta Renewables disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Note: All financial figures are in Canadian dollars unless noted otherwise.
For more information:
Phone: 1-800-387-3598 in Canada and U.S.
Phone: Toll-free media number: 1-855-255-9184