In preliminary discussions with Cape Wind, Siemens Energy has offered to provide debt and equity financing for up to $2.6 billion for the alternative energy supplier’s proposed 130-turbine, 468-MW wind farm off the Massachusetts coast.
Cape Wind agreed to purchase 130 of Siemen’s 3.6 MW turbines from Cape Wind last March, according to Mark Rodgers, spokesman for Cape Wind.
“Nothing is finalized, but we appreciate the expression of interest,” Rodgers says.
“We’ve always made it clear that we are not only willing but also capable of helping to support the whole project,” said Josef Kaeser, chief financial officer of Munich-based Siemens at an interview in Washington on June 21.
“Siemens’ involvement with the project is extremely significant,” says Peter Vigue, chief executive officer of Cianbro Corp. in Pittsfield, Maine. “They have a clear picture of the market for renewables in New England, which will place continued demand for renewable energy going forward.”
Cianbro has worked with Siemans on a number of projects including the construction of four massive petroleum refinery modules that were shipped by barge to Port Arthur, Texas.
Cianbro’s wind team has had informal preliminary discussions with Siemens regarding construction of a transmission substation near the Cape Wind farm, Vigue says. “It would likely be modulized and we would build the entire substation on land and put it onto a barge and float it to the site via barge,” he says.
Vigue says Cianbro has recently gone through Siemens’ prequalification process and has been in touch with the firm more than a dozen times in the past year.
Some wind energy analysts question how construction would proceed, since Cape Wind sold only half of its output to National Grid last November for 18.7 cents per KWh with that price increasing by 3% each year for the duration of the 15-year contract. Vigue said staged construction is one possibility.
Meanwhile, K2 Management, a Hasseleger, Denmark-based consultancy, recently signed an agreement with Cape Wind to provide balance-of-plant contractor selection for everything Siemens is not doing and will assist in project management, Rodgers says. The firm, which is already providing services to Cape Wind, is opening its North American office in Newton, Mass., Rodgers says. Cape Wind is also receiving similar services from Sgurr Energy in Glasgow, UK.