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24 March 2009

Mott MacDonald helps major renewable energy project reach financial close

Mott MacDonald‘s role as Lender’s Technical Adviser on a major renewable energy project on the Caribbean Island of Bonaire has come to fruition as the project has reached financial close.

Mott MacDonald was commissioned by Rabobank last year to provide due diligence to identify any key risks during construction and operation of the project. In addition, Mott MacDonald’s team was required to propose, in conjunction with the project team, suitable actions for mitigating any risks identified.

This hybrid renewables project comprises a wind-diesel system which is to be the sole electricity supplier of the Island of Bonaire under a 15 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The system includes 12 Enercon E-44 wind turbines providing an output of 10MW and five MAN diesel generating units giving 14MW of electricity to be controlled by a Power Management System. Initially the diesel engines will use heavy fuel oil but they have been designed to offer the option to switch to biodiesel in the future to help fulfil the aim of providing the Island of Bonaire with 100% renewable energy. The project was developed by Evelop, which will also be the owner and operator of the plant.

Christos Kolliatsas, Mott MacDonald’s project manager said, “We’re delighted that the project has reached financial close. Based on our wealth of experience in the sector, Mott MacDonald is the leading due diligence consultant but even so this project has presented some exciting challenges, particularly as it involves integration of the diesel and wind plants through the Power Management System. As the system is a hybrid and dependent on the performance of wind turbines, assessing grid stability has been a very important factor. Furthermore, the actual performance of the wind turbines will be measured using a Fuel Save Warranty as opposed to the standard availability and power curve warranties, making the commercial assessment of the wind turbines quite different from other systems.”

The project has a capital value of $61.6 million and is due for completion by the end of 2009.


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