Bennett Jones congratulates the Cascade Power Project for winning Project Finance International's (PFI) Canadian Power Deal of the Year award for 2020. Bennett Jones acted as counsel to Ontario-based pension fund and project sponsor OPTrust in connection with the transaction.
PFI calls Cascade, "the standout Canadian power transaction for 2020 based on innovation in structuring without a power purchase agreement (PPA)." The $1.5 billion project is a 900 megawatt (MW) combined cycle power generation facility under construction near Edson, Alberta.
Cascade is a leading project in Indigenous involvement in infrastructure in Canada, structured through an innovative and precedent setting partnership with six Alberta First Nations. It also marks the first transaction financially supported through the participation of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC). The AIOC has provided a loan guarantee to the consortium of Alberta First Nations to enable their participation in the project. The First Nations will hold their equity interest in the project through a vehicle owned by Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, O’Chiese First Nation, Paul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation.
The Bennett Jones team, consisting of partners Vivek Warrier, Denise Bright, Greg Johnson and Ashley White and associates Megan Ollivier and Kathryn Shaw, was proud to assist OPTrust with:
- formation and governance arrangements relating to the partnership between OPTrust and the First Nations consortium;
- the negotiation and implementation of the project credit facility and financial support from AIOC; and
- supporting the OPTrust team on the equity syndication transaction and project financing.
Cascade will lead Alberta's transition to a lower carbon intensive power grid by supporting the province’s transition off coal-fired power. 600 jobs will be created during peak construction and commercial operations are expected to begin in 2023.
More details on PFI's Canadian Power Deal of the Year award for 2020 is available here.