STAMFORD, Conn. and VANCOUVER, BC - December 11, 2009- GE Energy
Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), and Plutonic Power
Corporation (TSX: PCC) have completed their purchase and will resume
construction of the 300-megawatt Dokie Wind Project, British Columbia's
largest wind farm.
GE and Plutonic jointly contributed C$52.5 million to purchase the fully
permitted project located 1,100 kms northeast of Vancouver from
EarthFirst Canada Inc. The companies have formed a partnership through
which they will construct and operate the project's first phase, which
will have the capacity to generate 144 MW and is expected to reach
commercial operation by early 2011. Construction is scheduled to ramp up
next month, with most of the work commencing in the spring.
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife) (TSX, NYSE: MFC) led
a syndicate that provided C$175 million in fixed-rate nonrecourse
project debt for a 20-year term. Energy from the project will be sold to
BC Hydro, the third largest electric utility in Canada, under a 25-year
energy purchase agreement. The lending syndicate consists of Manulife,
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, The Canada Life Assurance Company
and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.
The Dokie Wind project is GE Energy Financial Services' and Plutonic's
first wind energy investment in Canada and expands their relationship
beyond hydroelectric power development. With this investment, GE and
Plutonic are jointly developing what will be British Columbia's largest
wind project and largest run-of-river hydro project---the196-megawatt
East Toba River and Montrose Creek run-of-river hydroelectric
project---helping the province meet its goal of electricity
self-sufficiency by 2016 by using 90 percent clean domestic generation
sources. GE and Plutonic also have proposed to build two other
run-of-river hydroelectric power projects: the166-megawatt Upper Toba
Valley and 1,027-megawatt Bute Inlet Project.
"Reviving phase one, and working toward expanding the Dokie Wind Project
and completing our East Toba River and Montrose Creek run-of-river
hydroelectric project not only grows our business and supports GE's
ecomagination program but reinforces the British Columbia government's
strong agenda to promote renewable energy," said Alex Urquhart,
President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services.
"Our relationship with GE Energy Financial Services enabled a joint
purchase of the Dokie Wind Project, which provides Plutonic with a
second near-term operating asset and a new growth platform in wind
energy," said Plutonic Power Vice-Chairman and CEO Donald McInnes.
EarthFirst obtained court-ordered protection from its creditors under
Canada's Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, and on November 30, the
Dokie partners informed the Court of Queens Bench of Alberta, Judicial
Centre of Calgary of their waiver of all remaining due diligence
conditions to purchase the wind farm. The GE-Plutonic partnership has
worked diligently and successfully with the West Moberly First Nations,
Halfway River First Nations, Saulteau First Nations and McLeod Lake
Indian Band involved in the Dokie Wind project to conclude comprehensive
project consent and support agreements. The partnership has also
developed an effective working relationship with these First Nations and
looks forward to working with them to complete the first phase of the
Dokie Wind Project.
The partnership has entered into an agreement with the Canadian
government to receive renewable energy incentives for the project under
Canada's ecoENERGY program. The program provides renewable energy
projects C$0.01 (before tax) per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of
"Renewable energy projects, such as the Dokie Wind Project, and the
Canadian economy overall have benefited greatly from the ecoENERGY for
Renewable Power program," said Mark Tonner, Managing Director of Canada
at GE Energy Financial Services. "We support this initiative and look
forward to continuing to access this program to help Canada reach its
renewable energy targets."
About GE Energy Financial Services
GE Energy Financial Services' experts invest globally with a long-term
view, backed by the best of GE's technical know-how, financial strength
and rigorous risk management, across the capital spectrum, in one of the
world's most capital-intensive industries, energy. GE Energy Financial
Services helps its customers and GE grow through new investments, strong
partnerships and optimization of its more than US$22 billion in assets.
Wind makes up nearly 80 percent of GE Energy Financial Services' more
than US$4 billion renewable energy portfolio. The company plans to
expand its renewable energy portfolio to $6 billion by the end of 2010,
including investments in wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and
geothermal power generation projects. This investment reinforces GE's
ecomagination initiative, a program to help its customers meet their
environmental challenges while expanding its own portfolio of cleaner
GE Energy Financial Services is based in Stamford, Connecticut. For more information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media
company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water,
transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves
customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000
people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.ge.com. GE is Imagination at Work.
About Plutonic Power Corporation
Plutonic Power's vision is to provide leadership and create a legacy
through the development of renewable, reliable, clean energy projects.
Its proposed Green Power Corridor TM, comprised of 42 generation
facilities (including the 2 facilities being constructed by the Toba
Montrose General Partnership), could have the capacity to meet the
annual energy needs of about 660,000 homes and offset more than 4.4
million tons of CO2 emissions every year - the equivalent of taking more
than 850,000 cars off the road. Build out of the Green Power Corridor
TM, including the current construction of the $660 million, 196 megawatt
East Toba River and Montrose Creek run-of-river hydroelectric project,
could create approximately 6,500 person-years of employment. Plutonic
Power is committed to working in partnership with First Nations,
stakeholder groups and local communities in the development of all of
its projects. By developing its suite of projects, Plutonic Power will
help British Columbia realize its goal of becoming electricity
self-sufficient by 2016 utilizing 90% clean domestic generation sources,
will create employment opportunities and will play a significant role
in the fight against climate change.
GE Energy Financial Services
Plutonic Power Corporation -- Media/Community Relations
Plutonic Power Corporation -- Investor Relations
Editor's Note: Photo caption: The 300-megawatt Dokie Wind
Project, which will be British Columbia's largest wind farm, will resume
construction now that GE Energy Financial Services and Plutonic Power
Corporation have purchased and formed a partnership to construct and
operate the project located 1,100 kms northeast of Vancouver.
Video showing construction of the Dokie Wind Project can be accessed at the following link: http://www.plutonic.ca/s/DokieWindMediaMaterials.asp