NRG News: Company Bids Big On SunEdison Properties

Bankrupt energy company, SunEdison, has scored a potentially $188 million bid from NRG Energy. NRG made the offer to acquire a substantial solar farm in West Texas as well as other renewable energy developments across the nation. The transaction still requires approval in bankruptcy court before it can be finalized.

Though the deal, NRG stands to acquire Buckthorn, a 200-megawatt solar farm in Pecos County. The project is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2017. Upon completion, the project would make the city of Georgetown the biggest municipality in the country to be powered only by renewable sources. Georgetown is home to roughly 60,000 people and just one megawatt is all that’s needed to provide power to 200 homes on a hot day in Texas.

The lucrative deal now stands at $144 million, but can increase to $188 million if certain benchmarks are met first. Wind and solar projects in California, Hawaii, Maine, Utah, and Washington are also included in the deal. NRG’s discount on the transaction is decidedly steep due to many of the projects still in development. These demand even more investment.

Back in December, the Houston-based NRG took a break from renewable power following the removal of its CEO, David Crane. Though the utility company has lessened their activity among Crane’s plans for electric and solar car charging hubs, NRG remains an investor in wind and solar energy. Mauricio Gutierrez, the company’s present CEO, insists that NRG is committed to growing in the area of green power.

In a statement Tuesday, company spokesperson Erik Linden said that the impending deal “further reaffirms our ongoing leadership and commitment to renewable energy.” NRG does have ownership over several wind projects in Texas, but the deal with SunEdison would give the utility giant its first “solar footprint” in the state.

SunEdison, a power company based in Missouri, quickly became one of the world’s fastest-growing developers of renewable energy. Unfortunately, the company grew far too rapidly before its assets could even become profitable. The bleeding of company funds forced SunEdison to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2016.

According to NRG, the deal must be finalized as soon as possible because Buckthorn is slated to become fully functional by April 2017, but the deal with Georgetown will be canceled if it’s not producing energy by the end of October 2017.

Two huge SunEdison solar projects were scheduled to start operating in Texas sometime in 2016, but both plans had to be postponed until next year. Another project, the 116-megawatt Castle Gap solar farm, was alleged to begin selling power to Luminant, a Dallas-based utility company. So far, NRG hasn’t attempted to purchase or even bid on this development in its deal with SunEdison.

For now, SunEdison is supposedly working on the construction of the South Plains Wind farm in Floyd County which is located near Lubbock. The status of this job, however, is not known. Earlier this year, work concluded on the Route 66 Wind project in the panhandle. Soon after, SunEdison sold a majority stake in the project to JPMorgan Asset Management.

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