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RNP Press Release
May 2, 2003

Energy Northwest Sells Bonds for Nine Canyon Project Expansion

Richland, WA – Energy Northwest’s Executive Board voted unanimously on April 30, 2003, to approve the issuance of municipal bonds to finance the 15.6-megawatt Phase II expansion of Nine Canyon Wind Project, located near Kennewick, Washington.

 
The bond sale took place on April 29 in the amount of $21,720,000. These are tax-exempt, AAA insured, 20-year municipal bonds, designed to reach maturity at the same time as the 22-year bonds that were issued to finance the original 48.1-megawatt wind project. Interest on the bonds will be an average of 4.92 percent.
 
The Phase II expansion will result in the addition of 12 more wind turbine generators identical to the 37 turbines currently generating power at the project. The addition will bring the total project capacity to 63.7 megawatts. This is enough electricity to power over 16,000 homes. The additional power will be fed to the existing substation at Nine Canyon Wind Project, then into the regional Bonneville Power Administration high voltage transmission grid.
 
The purchasing utilities for the power from the expansion are Chelan County PUD, Douglas County PUD, Grays Harbor County PUD, Mason County PUD No. 3 and Okanogan County PUD. As with the original phase of the project, Benton County PUD will install the electrical infrastructure.
 
The project development team expects to have financial closure by May 7, to be followed shortly by the issuance of a Notice to Proceed. As with Phase I, the general contractor for Phase II will be Renewable Energy Systems (RES) with the turbines manufactured by Bonus A/S of Denmark. Construction activity will begin in early June. Crews will erect of the first of the 12 new turbines in August, to begin producing power by the end of September. Full commercial operation of the Phase II turbines is scheduled to occur in December.
 
Chelan County PUD Commissioner Bob Boyd commented after the bond sale: “Chelan County PUD is pleased to be a part of the expansion of the Nine Canyon Wind Project. The PUD is looking to diversify its generation portfolio. This project, in partnership with other public utilities in the Northwest, is economically sound and environmentally sensitive. Energy Northwest has a proven ability to build and operate this kind of project and Chelan County PUD is proud to be a part of it.”
 
Chelan County PUD rejoined Energy Northwest last month after an eight-year absence.
 
Energy Northwest is planning to hold a public meeting in Kennewick later in May to explain the expansion plans.
 
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For more information contact:
Laura Dovey, Communications Officer
(509) 377-4117
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