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By Echo Menges
Cordelio Power and Tenaska have jointly announced the Knox County wind project has been sold to Canadian based company Cordelio Power. The announcement was made public on Friday, May 7, 2021, during an interview between company representatives and The Edina Sentinel.
“Tenaska intends on being a partner in the project long term, but Cordelio makes the decisions for the project going forward,” said Tenaska Director of Strategic Development and Acquisitions Monte Ten Kley.
“Tenaska is not going away, despite the change in ownership,” said Cordelio Power Vice-president of Operations and Project Development Paul Rapp. “A big part of the investment for us was the Tenaska team so we bought the project. Part of the deal is the Tenaska team is going to continue to work on the project for us as the lead developers, and just build on the great work they’ve done on the ground and with the community.”
According to the representatives, the contracts in place with Knox County landowners who signed up to participate in the wind project will not change.
Participating landowners were notified last week in writing and given the chance to participate in a conference call. Conference calls were given on Wednesday and Thursday between Cordelio, Tenaska and participating landowners.
“All of the agreements that landowners signed were signed with the project company Northeast Missouri Wind. Cordelio owns the project company so nothing has changed for the landowners.” said Ten Kley.
The timeline for the project will also remain the same, and Cordelio Power hopes construction can begin this fall and ramp up the following spring of 2022.
Tenaska will continue the work they started with the Knox County Commission and Missouri Department of Transportation on Road Use Agreement negotiations. The Commission and MoDOT’s Northeast District Office will have to come to agreements before construction on the project can begin.
“For Cordelio, we are a company that’s really looking to grow our operational base primarily in the U.S. To do that the general approach that we take is to look for developers that have projects we can step into and help to complete the development, the construction and operate the projects. We look for high quality projects. Those are projects that have been developed thoughtfully and with lots of interaction and contact with the local stakeholders. They don’t have technical flaws in them that could make it tough to complete the project and financially construct the project. In particular, projects that are sited well from the point-of-view of environmental constraints, they’ve done the groundwork to confirm the project can be built without undue impacts to species and that the projects benefit the community, and the community wants the project. That’s what we look for in a developer and Tenaska scores high marks on all of those. This is the second project we’ve purchased from Tenaska,” said Rapp. “They’re one of the top developers in the business, in our opinion, and we’ve worked with a lot.”
“A lot of the things that Paul said are the same things that are important to us. I’ve been talking about this project for two-and-a-half years. It’s almost like a part of my family. Tenaska approaches our projects that way and Cordelio does as well. It makes it easy to pull somebody into a project when you know that they have the same goals that we do. One of the things we’ve been asked by landowners is ‘Can the project be sold again?’ And, while that’s always a possibility, the reality is that Cordelio is a long term investor – so their goal is to hold onto it. I think that helps continue the relationship that we’ve started,” said Ten Kley. “Our goal with Cordelio is not to do one project, but rather, to do multiple projects with them. Lastly, because of the people they have on their team – they have a lot of experience. Putting our heads together with them really makes the team stronger and increases our ability to get the project into construction and operational quicker.”
“We enhance the skill set that Tenaska already has through the development phase and we bring a lot of construction management and experience and, in particular, one of the key things to actually get a project like this built is the financing, and that’s where Cordelio has a lot of strength – in our ability to pull together a lot of the financing for these projects – because they are very expensive,” said Rapp. “We also vend. Our goal is to build and operate these projects and we have a lot of operational expertise. We have over a thousand megawatts of projects under management right now. So, we have several hundred wind turbines that we are responsible for managing. (We have) lots of experience on the operational and asset management side, which I think really brings a lot to the project and to the partnership.”
Cordelio Power hopes help landowners with constructive questions including those who may be opposed to the project.
“Monte and the Tenaska team have been keeping us informed about what they’ve seen in terms of opposition in the county,” said Rapp. “We’re making sure we’re working with the county officials and the landowners ensuring there’s a benefit. We’re happy to answer questions and if there’s confusion about the project or comments on the project – we’re happy to answer constructive questions. There’s lots of factual information out there we’re more than happy to provide or point to for people, if they have concerns. We’re aware of the opposition and we’re happy to work in a constructive way with anybody who has questions about the project,” said Rapp.
The following information was provided by Cordelio Power:
About Cordelio Power
Cordelio is an independent power producer that develops, owns and manages renewable power facilities across North America. Cordelio manages a 1,000 + MW renewable power generation portfolio of wind and solar projects and is 100% owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the entity that manages Canada’s public pension fund.
The Cordelio team brings decades of development, construction and operating experience and has successfully developed and completed several hundred megawatts of operating renewable power facilities in Canada and the USA.
More information is available on our website: www.cordeliopower.com
Key Messages to Our Landowners:
The project sale to Cordelio is a normal event in the development of a large renewable energy project – it is common to bring in a large investor as a project nears construction/operation.
Cordelio shares the same values as Tenaska and long-term relationships and involvement with landowners, local community and County officials are a cornerstone of how we develop, construct and operate our projects.
Outside of the ownership of the project, nothing has changed – all agreements between landowners, the County etc. will continue to be fully honored.
Tenaska will continue to be very active in the project as the on-the-ground developer and will remain one of the main points of contact.