Plutonic, GE unit commit to buy Canada wind farm

 @ibtimes on September 23 2009 11:19 AM

Plutonic Power Corp and a unit of General Electric Co said on Wednesday that they had committed to buying the Dokie Ridge wind project in western Canada after completing a due diligence investigation.

GE Energy Financial Services and Plutonic, a small Canadian hydro-electric producer, announced on June 1 that they planned to buy the uncompleted 144-megawatt project, whose owner, EarthFirst Canada, filed for creditor protection last year.

Since then the partners have been combing through the project's books, extending the due diligence several times.

GE and Plutonic plan to complete the acquisition in early November, with construction expected to be finished in early 2011 at an estimated cost of C$225 million ($210 million).

A GE affiliate will hold 49 percent and a Plutonic affiliate 51 percent of the Dokie partnership.

The project, which is in northeastern British Columbia and could be expanded to 300 MW of power, is the largest wind farm under construction in the Canadian province.

This is GE and Plutonic's first wind farm venture. They are already partners in hydroelectric projects in British Columbia.

EarthFirst has reported that the Dokie project, once completed, would generate 340 gigawatt-hours of power annually -- enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 34,000 homes and avoid more than 229,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from a coal plant.

($1 = $1.07 Canadian)

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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