NRG to Acquire North America’s Largest Wind Farm

NRG Energy’s shopping spree, which has seen it become the nation’s largest merchant generator through a string of acquisitions, continued this week as subsidiary NRG Yield announced on June 4 that it has agreed to acquire the mammoth Alta Wind facility in Tehachapi, Calif., from Terra-Gen Power LLC.

The Alta Wind farm has an operating capacity of 947 MW and is the largest wind facility in North America. The deal will cost NRG Yield $870 million plus the assumption of $1.6 billion of non-recourse project financings, subject to customary working capital adjustments.

The wind farm is located in a well-established wind resource area and is close to the Los Angeles load center. There are 386 turbines that have been placed into commercial operation within the past four years. The power is contracted under long-term power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison.

“Alta Wind is a landmark investment for NRG Yield,” said David Crane, chairman and CEO of NRG Energy. “Alta Wind contributes to our objective of sustainable and visible dividend growth for our investors while supporting the generation of carbon-free electricity for thousands of homes through large-scale wind.”

The deal follows NRG’s acquisition of Edison Mission Energy (EME) in March, when it purchased 42 plants and 8.9 GW of capacity for $2.6 billion through EME’s bankruptcy reorganization plan, and its 2012 merger with GenOn.

NRG Yield owns contracted renewable and conventional generation, and thermal infrastructure assets in the U.S.—including fossil fuel, solar, and wind power generation facilities. Its thermal infrastructure assets provide steam, hot water and/or chilled water—and in some instances electricity—to commercial businesses, universities, hospitals, and governmental units.

The company expects to close the deal in the third quarter of 2014. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, as well as notice of the acquisition to the California Public Utilities Commission.

Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)

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