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Penonome wind farm turbines, Panama

Achieving financing for the first wind farm in Panama

The largest wind project in Latin America.

ClientUnion Eólica Panameña
(phase 1) /
InterEnergy Holdings
(phases 2 and 3)
ExpertiseLender's engineer /
technical advisor /
project management support

We have played multiple roles on the 270MW Penonomé wind project, first as lender’s engineer for the due diligence phase of the 55MW portfolio, followed by acquisition due diligence and owner’s engineer services for the 215MW project (phases 2 and 3).

Opportunity

Union Eólica Panameña (phase 1) and InterEnergy Holdings (phases 2 and 3) were seeking project finance from local and international lenders for Panama’s first wind farm and the first utility-scale use of Goldwind’s wind turbines. They needed help to provide comfort to the lenders that all risks were properly mitigated.

Solution

For phase 1, we provided financial, economic, technical, energy yield, environmental and social review of the project to the lenders, followed by construction and operations monitoring. Our environmental and social review included assessment against the requirements of the Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards.

For phases 2 & 3, we provided ad hoc owner’s technical advisory services for all disciplines, project management support and monthly construction monitoring services.

Outcome

Penonomé wind farm successfully reached financial close. All three phases are now in full operation.

Key lessons learned include the need for a majority of revenues for a project to be under long-term contracts to provide comfort for debt service coverage; to expect differences of opinion between owner’s and lender’s consultants regarding the wind resource; and the need to plan for and provide sufficient time to arrange and complete long term project financing from development banks.

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