Joint venture to build $240 million wind farm

Trey Goede is reaping the benefits of chasing the wind.

Goede’s Affinity Wind is teaming up with one of the world's leading turbine manufacturers on a $240 million wind energy project in central Illinois. Affinity and Suzlon Wind Energy Corp. have formed Surity Wind LLC, a joint venture to develop a 150 megawatt wind farm in Pike County.

Chicago-based Suzlon Wind Energy is a subsidiary of Suzlon Energy Limited of Pune, India. Suzlon is the world’s third-largest wind turbine supplier, according to Denmark-based BTM Consult ApS’ World Market Update 2009.

“We will be co-developing the project in Illinois, and the intent is to develop multiple projects with Suzlon,” Goede said. Surity is a 50/50 partnership between Suzlon and Affinity, with Affinity contributing the ongoing Illinois project and Suzlon supplying the turbines for the project and providing additional financing.

Goede declined to disclose the amount of Suzlon’s financial backing. Affinity, which Goede launched in 2008, currently is wrapping up a $450,000 investment round. The company raised $700,000 in funding in 2009, including a $300,000 investment from Saint Louis University’s Billiken Angel Network. Goede declined to list individual investors but said the total $1.15 million came from the SLU network and 16 angel investors, 13 of whom are local.

“We were going to have to raise more money to complete this project on our own, but as a result of this joint venture, Suzlon will be helping to fund the development,” Goede said.

The Illinois project will be completed in two phases, with the first phase generating about 36 megawatts of wind energy and the second phase producing 114 megawatts. Affinity plans to have the first phase operational by the end of the year, with the second phase coming online by late 2012.

Read more in the St. Louis Business Journal.

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