BP Wind Energy plans to sell its entire development portfolio – which includes the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm – by the end of the year, according to a company spokeswoman.
“BP is seeking to divest its entire wind development portfolio to potential buyers that have the strategy and resources to continue to develop these projects,” company spokeswoman Amanda J. Abbott said Thursday in an email to the Times. “It is expected that the transactions will close by year-end.”
There could be more than one buyer, but the terms of these potential sales are confidential, she said.
Wind farms that are already in operation are not part of the anticipated sale.
“BP is retaining operating wind farms in its portfolio at this time,” Ms. Abbott said.
According to the company’s website, BP Wind Energy has interests in 16 wind farms in nine states that produce 2,600 megawatts of electricity.
BP attempted to sell all of its U.S. wind assets this spring but was unable to find a high enough bidder for the 2.6-gigawatt portfolio that included both planned and operating wind farms.
In the meantime, the developer will continue to move forward with the state Article X application for the 285-megawatt Cape Vincent wind project.
“We are continuing to advance the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project during this divestment process,” Ms. Abbott said.
SparkSpread – an online publication specializing in energy and utilities news, mergers and acquisitions, financing and energy trading – first reported BP Wind Energy’s plan to exit project development as part of a restructuring last week on its website: www.sparkspread.com.
Cape Vincent town Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey said that regardless of whether a different developer takes over the project, the town’s stance on industrial wind development will remain the same.
“We’re not changing our posture,” he said. “They can have turbines as long as they abide by our laws.”
Sarah F. Boss, chairwoman of Wind Power Ethics Group, said her group represents the “majority of the community” that believes Cape Vincent is not the right site for a large-scale industrial wind farm.
While the group would prefer BP simply to walk away from the project, she said, the group will continue to advocate for Cape Vincent’s zoning law to ensure the health and safety of town residents if another developer comes in.
In response to Ms. Boss’s statement, Voters for Wind member Julia E. Gosier said there are more Lyme and Cape Vincent residents in favor of wind development, even if only by a slight margin.
She said that it would make more sense for BP to finish the application process before selling the project to avoid confusion, but that it makes little difference to her which company actually develops the proposed wind farm after it’s approved.
“To me, what’s important is the concept, not the name of the developer. I don’t think it’s going to make a huge difference,” she said.
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