Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), Gestamp Wind North America, and Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: STD) announced today that tax equity financing is complete for the recently completed Flat Water Wind Farm, which is comprised of 40 GE wind turbine generators, each capable of producing 1.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity with a total installed capacity of 60 MW. According to the American Wind Energy Association, one MW of wind-generated power can supply electricity to approximately 240 to 300 households per year.
This is the first transaction USB has closed with Gestamp Wind North America, which is an affiliate of Gestamp Corporation, a multinational company based in Madrid, Spain, and Banco Santander, the largest bank in the Euro Zone by market capitalization which is also headquartered in Madrid. Additional funds were secured from Rabobank, N.A. and Third Planet Wind Power, LLC, an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Renewable Development Fund, LLC.
At the height of construction, the Flat Water Wind Farm project brought more than 170 jobs to the area.
“This was a great opportunity for U.S. Bank to expand in renewable energy while serving a great market and great customer like Omaha Public Power District,” said Darren Van’t Hof of U.S. Bank. “We could not have asked for better partners like Gestamp and Banco Santander. We look forward to more opportunities such as this.”
The project is located in Richardson County, near Falls City, Nebraska, approximately 86 miles south of Omaha and 95 miles northwest of Kansas City, KS. The wind farm was completed in December 2010 and is expected to generate 213 gigawatts (GW) of electricity a year. Flat Water Wind Farm has entered into a 20-year renewable energy purchase agreement with Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), a publicly owned, business-managed electric utility that serves more customers than any other electric utility in Nebraska, to sell the utility company 100% of the project output including cost-effective, clean and reliable source of electricity, renewable energy credits and capacity. OPPD has set a goal of having 10 percent of the electricity it sells to retail customers coming from renewable energy by 2020.
Alejandro Burgaleta, CFO of Gestamp Wind said, "This project has-been the culmination of more than three years of planning and hard work by those dedicated to the idea of providing tomorrow's energy sources today. U.S. Bank was a natural partner due to their leadership and experience in the tax equity market."
Alberto Ramos, Managing Director of Banco Santander, said, “Flat Water has provided us the opportunity to expand our activity in the U.S. and collaborate with very experienced partners such as U.S. Bank and Gestamp.”
USB is a recognized leader in financing a variety of renewable energy projects, building on its experience in other tax credit equity investments. USB has committed more than $400 million of renewable energy tax equity to finance over $800 million of renewable energy projects in the United States primarily in the solar market, and in select opportunities in the wind energy market.
About U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $308 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2010, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,069 banking offices in 25 states and 5,310 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com
About Corporacion Gestamp
Corporacion Gestamp is a European industrial holding company, whose core businesses are renewable energy, steel service centers and automotive components. Comprised of three large industrial divisions, Gonvarri, Gestamp Automotive and Gestamp Renewables, the company has a strong global presence with facilities in 25 countries across four continents. In 2010, Gestamp Corporation achieved sales of $6.8 billion and employed more than 20,000 employees globally.
About Gestamp Renewables
Gestamp Renewables (www.gestampren.com), a division of Corporacion Gestamp, is an industrial group that operates and supplies components within the renewable energy sector.
Since 2005, Gestamp Renewables has aspired to position itself as an international leader within the renewable energy sector, using a unique and integrated business model encompassing the entire value chain – from the manufacture and supply of components, to the promotion, construction, maintenance, operation and development of wind (Gestamp Wind), solar (Gestamp Solar) and biomass (Gestamp Biomass) energy projects.
About Gestamp Wind
Gestamp Wind is the wholly-owned renewable wind energy subsidiary of Gestamp Renewables, and is currently developing, building, and operating wind farms in the U.S., Europe, Brazil and Turkey.
About Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN)
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets. At the end of 2010, Santander was the largest bank in the euro zone and 10th in the world by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had at year-end EUR 1,362 billion in managed funds, more than 95 million customers, 14,082 branches – more than any other international bank – and 179,000 employees. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America. Furthermore, it has relevant positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, the U.S. northeast and, through its Santander Consumer Finance arm, in Germany and Poland. Santander registered €8,181 million in net attributable profit in 2010.
Santander has worked with many of the leading renewable energy companies in the world, including Gestamp. The company established a group for the purpose of making investments in the renewable sector in countries such as the U.S.
Lisa Clark, 608-877-7517
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