TIAA-CREF Forms Venture With Native Alaskans to Invest in Wind

TIAA-CREF, the manager of retirement accounts for teachers, formed a joint venture with an Alaskan Native American-owned holding company to invest in North American wind power.

The venture, Capistrano Wind Partners LLC, is using $238 million from TIAA-CREF and Cook Inlet Region Inc. to acquire three operating wind farms from a unit of Edison International, the Rosemead, California-based utility holding company said today in a statement.

Capistrano bought the 61-megawatt Mountain Wind I and 80-megawatt Mountain Wind II projects in Wyoming, and the 150-megawatt Cedro Hill project in Texas.

TIAA-CREF and Cook Inlet plan to invest a total of $460 million in the venture, which will eventually buy as many as seven Edison Mission Group wind projects with a total of 500 megawatts of capacity. That includes the 42-megawatt Crofton Bluffs and the 80-megawatt Broken Bow wind farms in Nebraska that Capistrano expects to acquire when they go into operation.

Edison Mission Group owns 31 wind projects that are either in operation or under construction in 11 U.S. states with a total of 2,000 megawatts of capacity.

Marathon Capital LLC advised Edison on the deal, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP provided legal counsel.

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