NRG Energy agreed to pay up to $188 million to buy wind and solar projects from bankrupt SunEdison in Texas and other states.
NRG, based in Houston and New Jersey, was seemingly scaling back its renewable-power focus after a CEO change last year. But the company says that’s not the case.
NRG said the potential deal — subject to other offers under the proposed bidding process — “further reaffirms our ongoing commitment to renewable energy. We look forward to working with SunEdison, its clients, stakeholders, and the court to advance the contemplated transaction.”
The bankruptcy court proceeds allow SunEdison to seek better offers in the coming weeks, but SunEdison would have to pay NRG a penalty if it goes another route. NRG’s offer is for $144 million, but could grow to $188 million if SunEdison hits development milestones. Up for sale are 2.1 gigawatts of wind and solar farms in Texas, Utah, California and beyond.
SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy developer, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April after growing too quickly. SunEdison, headquartered outside St. Louis, took on $16 billion in debt as it kept adding massive projects before it became profitable. The company lost nearly $1 billion through the first nine months of 2015 alone.
SunEdison scheduled two major solar projects in Texas to begin operations this year, but both were delayed at least into 2017. One of them, the Buckthorn solar farm in Pecos County, would make Georgetown, a community of 60,000 people, the largest municipality in the nation powered solely by renewable sources. The other is the 116-megawatt Castle Gap solar farm in West Texas that’s supposed to sell power to Dallas-based Luminant.
SunEdison is building the two phases of the 500-megawatt South Plains Wind farm in Floyd County near Lubbock, but its status is unclear. The Route 66 Wind project in the Texas Panhandle was completed this year, but SunEdison sold a majority stake in it to JPMorgan Asset Management.