SOURCE: Akeida Capital Management, LLC

Akeida Capital Management, LLC

June 16, 2009 08:00 ET

Akeida Capital Finances California Renewable Energy Facilities

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 16, 2009) - Akeida Capital Management, LLC, an environmental asset management firm focused on originating and investing in projects aimed at combating climate change, today announced it has closed on senior secured financing for two biomass power generation facilities located in the San Joaquin Valley in California. The facilities, in Merced and Chowchilla, California, each have a capacity of 12.5-megawatts and can generate enough electricity to power 25,000 homes.

David Kandolha, principal at Akeida Capital said, "The environmental benefits provided by these plants and the unique challenges of this transaction made it critical for us, working with our partners, to come up with a flexible financing package in order to provide the capital necessary to allow these plants to operate at their full capacity for the foreseeable future."

Akeida provided a $12.5 million senior secured loan facility to fund working capital for both the Merced and Chowchilla plants. Previous construction financing for the refurbishment of the facilities was completed in 2008. The two plants, owned by Global Ampersand, LLC and its affiliates, have entered into 15-year power purchase agreements to sell electricity to California's Pacific Gas and Electric Company, qualifying them for state tax credits. Global Ampersand's Chief Operating Officer, Eric Shumway said, "Closing on this loan facility will allow our project team finally to focus on getting the most out of our plants, rather than on searching for working capital in a tight lending environment."

The Akeida Capital transaction comes as large electric utilities such as Southern Co. and Progress Energy have made multi-million dollar investments in biomass power plants. Driven by federal and state incentives and a proposed House bill that would require electric utilities to generate 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2020, companies are looking to build these facilities which make use of an abundant supply of plants, wood chips and other organic material. Biomass is expected to generate 4.5% of the electricity consumed in the United States by 2030, outpacing both wind and solar power.

"We're pleased to participate, along with our partners, in a transaction which increases California's supply of renewable energy and, at the same time secures jobs in the San Joaquin Valley," said Harvey Abrahams, principal at Akeida Capital Management.

Biomass, a fuel source in which wood and plant material are burned to produce renewable energy, can be used for both heating and power, and produces little to no carbon footprint representing a key component in future green power generation. Biomass reduces carbon emissions by 15.2 million tons annually, while diverting over 25.3 million tons of organic materials that would otherwise decompose, be open burned, or accumulate in the forest as overgrowth material. Currently, the commercial biomass power generating industry in the United States produces about 0.5 percent of the U.S. electricity supply.

Akeida Capital Management, LLC was advised on this transaction by Blank Rome, LLP. The Blank Rome team was lead by Sarah Hewitt of Blank Rome's New York office and included a cross-discipline team of attorneys, including Margaret Hill of Blank Rome's Philadelphia office on environmental matters and William Small of Blank Rome's Los Angeles office on real estate matters. The team was also supported by Nicolas Giannasca, Erin Harkiewicz and Mike Semes amongst others.

About Akeida Capital Management

Akeida Capital Management, LLC and the Akeida Environmental Funds invest in market solutions that combat climate change. As worldwide environmental commodity markets develop, Akeida is a vital link between investors, project developers and the environmental asset marketplace. Akeida originates and finances projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate alternative energy in industrialized and developing countries. In addition, Akeida actively manages a portfolio of diversified environmental assets including Kyoto and voluntary carbon offsets, U.S. based renewable energy credits and emission reduction credits.

Akeida secures unique opportunities for investors by providing custom financial structures for renewable energy, emission reduction and efficiency projects. Akeida's environmental finance expertise allows us to provide sound financing solutions while ensuring the environmental integrity of each asset in its portfolio. All assets in Akeida's portfolio are validated using industry best practices ensuring real, quantifiable and permanent benefits for the environment while contributing towards sustainable development. For more information about Akeida Capital Management, visit http://www.akeidacapital.com/.

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