A flagship Enova biomass power project in the Northeastern US has cleared a string of financial hurdles following an agreement between private equity giant The Carlyle Group and SAIC.
The 37.5MW Plainfield, Connecticut project will cost $225 million and will consume recycled wood materials, removing it from an industry debate over the use of fresh-cut biomass for power generation.
“The project will consume wood readily available from various sources such as construction and demolition debris, recycled wood pallets, and land clearing materials,” the companies said in announcing the financing agreement. With all of its permits in place, construction should be complete by December 2013, with SAIC providing engineering, procurement and construction for the project, which is owned by a subsidiary of Enova.
Biomass projects have faced a host of challenges, with fuel sourcing often the main stumbling block for developers but financing in a challenged lending environment also a challenge. New interest in the steady returns of energy production among private equity players as well as enhanced use of performance contracting for government entities has resulted in a late 2011 and early 2012 rush of project financing completions.
Read more about another recent biomass project completed at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site here.
“We are pleased to provide financing for an important renewable power generation project at a rime when other traditional sources of capital are withdrawing from the market,” Managing Director of Carlyle’s Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Group David Albert said in announcing the deal, adding that the Plainfield financing proved Carlyle could act find creative solutions and execute quickly for “the right project.”
Photo Caption: Construction waste bound for a Japanese biomass power plant.