NRG affiliate buys country’s largest wind farm

HOUSTON — A company affiliated with NRG Energy will spend $870 million to buy the country’s largest wind farm, it announced Wednesday.

The deal comes just days after the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a sweeping proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent, from their 2005 levels, by 2030.

NRG Yield also will assume $1.6 billion in debt in debt from Terra-Gen Power LLC in exchange for Terra-Gen’s Alta Wind facility in Tehachapi, Calif.

The facility has 947 megawatts of operating wind capacity.

“Alta Wind is a landmark investment for NRG Yield,” said David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG Yield and of NRG Energy. “The acquisition of the largest wind facility on the North American continent highlights not only our commitment to carbon-free generation, but also the strength of our acquisition capabilities to compete for contracted assets of world-class quality in the competitive marketplace.”

NRG Yield was spun off from NRG Energy as a separate, publicly traded company last year, but NRG Energy — headquartered in Houston and New Jersey — remains its majority stockholder.

NRG Yield will fund the deal with a combination of equity, new debt and cash on hand. The deal, which NRG Yield expects to close in the third quarter, is subject to approval by several federal regulators and by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Officials said the deal increases the combined wind portfolio of the NRG Yield and NRG Energy to 2,839 megawatts, the fifth largest in North America.