HAMILTON, BERMUDA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/12/12 -- All amounts in U.S. dollars.
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. (TSX: BEP.UN) ('Brookfield Renewable') is pleased to announce an increase in its unitholder distributions to $1.38 on an annualized basis, representing an increase of three cents per unit per year. The increase will take effect with the first quarter distribution payable in April 2012.
The increase in distributions is the result of significant progress in the company's growth plans, specifically the announcement today that with its institutional partners, the company has entered into agreements to acquire new wind generation assets in California. The assets to be acquired include:
-- A 150 megawatt wind project in California purchased from a U.S. wind developer. This project is located in the Tehachapi region in close proximity to Brookfield Renewable's existing 102 megawatt wind farm and benefits from a 24-year power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison. The new wind farm consists of 50 Vestas V90 3.0- megawatts turbines, the same model in use at the neighbouring facility, and at our wind farm in New Hampshire. -- An incremental 50% interest in our 102 megawatt wind farm in Tehachapi, California, bringing our interest to 100%, as well as the acquisition of a further 22 megawatts of additional operating wind generation capacity, being acquired from the company's existing partner, the Coram Energy Group.
Brookfield Renewable will manage all of these newly acquired assets, which will be integrated into its North American operating platform. The transactions are subject to customary closing conditions and are expected to close in the first quarter of 2012.
'We are making strong progress on our growth plans. The 150 megawatt wind asset, combined with the consolidation of our ownership interest in Coram, are strong additions to our renewable power portfolio,' said Richard Legault, Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Renewable. 'These projects are situated in an attractive market and wind resource region, and further expand our renewable business in California. We also continue to make progress commissioning projects we have under construction.'
In recent weeks, Brookfield Renewable has completed construction of four renewable power facilities totaling approximately 280 megawatts of capacity. The facilities that have been commissioned include a 166 megawatt wind farm in Ontario, a 99 megawatt wind farm in New Hampshire, a 10 megawatt hydro station in Minnesota, and a 6 megawatt hydro station in West Virginia.
The company also continues to make progress on furthering its growth plans in 2012 and has received the environmental assessment certificate for its 45 megawatt hydroelectric project in British Columbia. Construction is expected to begin in 2012, subject to the successful completion of remaining commercial agreements. Once complete, the generating facility is expected to generate enough electricity annually to power approximately 15,000 homes.
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (TSX: BEP.UN) operates one of the largest publicly-traded, pure-play renewable power platforms globally. Its portfolio is primarily hydroelectric and includes 172 hydropower facilities, five wind farms, and totals approximately 4,800 megawatts of installed capacity. Diversified across 67 river systems and 10 power markets in Canada, the United States and Brazil, the portfolio generates enough electricity from renewable resources to power two million homes on average each year. With a fully-contracted portfolio of high-quality assets and strong growth prospects, the business is positioned to generate stable, long-term cash flows supporting regular and growing cash distributions to unitholders. For more information, please visit www.brookfieldrenewable.com.
Note: This news release contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of the Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements may include estimates, plans, expectations, opinions, forecasts, projections, guidance or other statements that are not statements of fact. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the distribution increase, acquisition of the Tehachapi wind project and remaining interest in the Coram wind project, the attractiveness of the Tehachapi wind region and California power market, the anticipated commissioning of the Tehachapi and Coram wind farms, the anticipated construction of the British Columbia hydroelectric facility, the quality of Brookfield Renewable's assets and the resiliency of the cash flow they will generate, Brookfield Renewable's anticipated financial performance and the future growth prospects and distribution profile of Brookfield Renewable. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as 'will', 'expected', 'intend', 'continue', 'positioned' and 'targets', or variations of such words and phrases. Although Brookfield Renewable believes that such forward-looking statements and information are based upon reasonable assumptions and expectations, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. The reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information as such statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Brookfield Renewable to differ materially from anticipated future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and information. Except as required by law, Brookfield Renewable undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether written or oral, that may be as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.