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American Windpower Firm Grows Through Exports to Mexico as Ex-Im Back Provides First Project Financing For Wind Power

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2009

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Clipper Windpower Inc., a 700+-employee company in Carpinteria, Calif., is breaking into the global marketplace by exporting 27 2.5-megawatt wind turbines to Mexico, backed by a $80.66 million direct loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The sale is keeping workers employed at Clipper and may lead to job growth at the company.

It is the first export of Clipper's wind technology outside of the United States. It also is the first Ex-Im Bank project financing for a wind power transaction, and the first large U.S. wind technology sale in Latin America.

This transaction furthers two of Ex-Im Bank's highest priorities - creating and sustaining U.S. jobs and helping American manufacturers produce renewable energy and other green technologies for the world, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.

Electrica del Valle de Mexico (EVM), the project company, is using Clipper's equipment to build a 67.5-megawatt wind farm at La Ventosa-La Mata in Oaxaca, Mexico. The area is one of the world's best wind resources with average wind speeds of 12 meters-per-second, and a total estimated wind resource of 6,000 megawatts. EVM is owned by France's EDF Energies Nouvelle.

Ex-Im Bank's support is highly significant, particularly to U.S. companies like Clipper looking to grow and compete in international markets, said Clipper CEO Doug Pertz. This transaction will provide a catalyst for future international sales which Clipper has been actively working to develop in Mexico and other countries. The ability to export turbines sets the stage for increased future jobs here in the U.S. as we increase orders to our suppliers and ramp up our local operations.

Clipper's wind turbines are assembled in facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The company also has operations throughout the country, from California to Colorado to Massachusetts.

Ex-Im Bank recently became the first Export Credit Agency (ECA) to adopt a comprehensive carbon policy to guide its support of United States exports in light of climate change concerns. As part of the policy, the Bank has established a new $250 million facility to finance renewable energy exports, including solar, wind and geothermal energy. The policy commits the Bank to be a leader in financing of climate-friendly technologies made by American workers, including those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency. The policy includes a maximum repayment period of 18 years.

The Oaxaca project is expected to become operational in December 2009. It will deliver electrical energy under 15-year self-supply agreements to four subsidiaries of Wal-Mart de Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V.

Ex-Im Bank was able to provide project financing for the project because of the flexible terms allowed under the recently agreed-upon OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Renewable Energy and Water Projects Understanding.

In Fiscal Year 2009, which ended September 30, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $21 billion in support of U.S. exports and associated jobs, the highest financing level since the Bank was established in 1934. The Bank also set a record for financing of U.S. small business exports at $4.36 billion.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 75th year, helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. More information is available on the Bank's web site at www.exim.gov.