Gordon Butte pumped storage project gets lead equity investor

11 July 2019

Absaroka Energy LLC, the developer of the 400MW Gordon Butte closed loop pumped storage project in Montana, US, has secured equity investment capital for the project from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Denmark.

To date, Absaroka has secured the site, obtained water rights and permits including receipt of a new major hydro license for the construction and operation of the facility from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The project is in an advanced stage of development and will be ready for construction in 2020.

“Montana could be the epicenter of Northwest U.S. energy generation potential when linked with the world class capacity and storage technology deployed at Gordon Butte, adding jobs and a new, long-term and sustainable tax base,” said Carl Borgquist, President of Absaroka Energy. “It only makes sense this project attracted a world class investor like Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners who are funding billions of dollars in renewable energy projects across the globe.”

“At CIP, we focus on teaming with leading developers and making investments in energy infrastructure assets with a high degree of stability in cash flows,” added Christian Skakkebaek, Senior Partner at CIP. “With the long investment horizon of our funds, it enables us to participate in large projects overseeing financing, construction and operation. Pumped storage hydro is a unique and valuable asset class that will be a key resource as the global transition to renewable energy continues to accelerate in states such as Montana.”

The project will utilize a configuration of pump and turbine equipment provided by GE Renewable Energy allowing the plant to move quickly and seamlessly between pumping and generating.

The Gordon Butte project is sited in Meagher County and located about three miles west of Martinsdale and less than six miles from its interconnection to the Colstrip twin 500 kV transmission lines, the backbone of the Pacific Northwest’s electric system. This interconnection location will give the facility access to markets in Montana and throughout the region. The project will have minimal environmental impact due in large part to the closed loop nature of the siting and design thus taking the facility out of an existing stream or water impoundment.

With this investment, CIP will finalize the project development and step into the role of the project’s long-term sponsor equity provider. The remainder of the capital structure will be determined prior to start of construction.

Absaroka Energy secured the equity deal with the assistance of investment banking advisors Green Giraffe, Bostonia Partners and Voltiq.

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