By Barry Dalton
Cordelio Power of Ontario has acquired the 400 MW Firebrick wind project currently under development in Audrain County.
Tenaska, which has been developing the project since 2019 will continue to work with Cordelio to advance the project under a development services agreement.
“We’re excited to work with Tenaska on this project, and we hope to expand this relationship in the future as we continue to grow Cordelio’s development portfolio,” said Nick Karambelas, Cordelio’s chief commercial officer.
“Tenaska is pleased to support Cordelio’s efforts to bring more renewables to Missouri. The Firebrick project is well positioned to bring value to their portfolio,” said Joel Link, senior vice president in Tenaska’s Strategic Development & Acquisitions Group. “Our team is excited to continue our involvement with the project through the development phase.”
The Firebrick project is Cordelio’s first wind project in Missouri, but it’s not its first rodeo. Wholly owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, it is a renewable power producer managing over 1,000 megawatts of renewable generation assets in North America. It also has a growth pipeline of over 3,000 megawatts of wind, solar and storage projects in the western and midwestern U.S., including wind farms in Montana and Nevada. Cordelio also has a solar project in Lincoln County.
As part of the transition to new ownership, Bob Ramaekers of Tenaska is taking over local leadership of the project from Monte Ten Kley, who has moved on to other projects in the company. Current plans are to keep the staff in place at its office on Hwy. 54.
“Community members involved in the project do not need to worry about any major changes,” Ramaekers said. “We plan to remain active in the community and continue to be good neighbors. We also plan on investing in the project and intend to be a partner with Cordelio.”
Paul Rapp, vice president of project development at Cordelio, told the Leader during an exclusive interview that these types of acquisitions are common in the renewable energy sector, particularly when a project is ready to transition from early-stage development to late-stage development and the construction phase.
Rapp said that the current target for beginning construction of windmill infrastructure is late 2023 and operations target by the end of 2024. Before that can happen, though, there are a number of engineering and land studies that must be completed.
“This acquisition really strengthens the project going forward,” consultant Bill Pentak said. “This is like Ford and Ferrari working on a project together. This is a positive development for the success of the project. You have two great blue-chip companies here. This is a great project that is backed by great people.”