First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, has obtained US$236 million in financing for its 69-MW Kawailoa Wind project on Kamehameha Schools' Kawailoa Plantation lands on Oahu's North Shore.

A subsidiary of First Wind closed a $220 million non-recourse construction and term loan and $16 million in letters of credit for the Kawailoa project. Union Bank served as Administrative Agent and Joint Lead Arranger. Other Joint Lead Arrangers include Bayern LB, Rabobank and Siemens Financial Services. CIBC and CoBank also participated in the financing.

Early construction work began on the project in December 2011 and has progressed steadily. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

Once complete, Kawailoa Wind will be the largest wind energy facility in Hawaii. The project's 30 2.3-MW Siemens wind turbines will have the capacity to generate enough clean, renewable wind energy to power the equivalent of approximately 14,500 homes on the island, or as much as 5% of Oahu's annual electrical demand.

In December 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement between Kawailoa Wind and the Hawaiian Electric Co., which serves more than 400,000 Hawaii customers. Hawaii state law mandates 70% clean energy for electricity and surface transportation by 2030, with 40% coming from local renewable sources. Kawailoa Wind will significantly advance the state's progress toward these goals.