Since SunEdison filed for bankruptcy in April, the question of what would happen to the projects – both completed and under development – held by the world’s largest renewable energy developer has loomed large.
And as there has been no actor to date who has shown a willingness to take over SunEdison wholesale, today the carving up of SunEdison’s projects has formally begun, with power company NRG announcing a purchase and sale agreement for 2.1 GW of the company’s utility-scale wind and solar projects.
This includes 200 MW of “construction ready” PV projects in Texas, which already hold power contracts, interest in a structured partnership owning 683 MW of “nearly complete” projects in Utah, which also have power contracts, and 1.25 GW of wind and solar projects in various stages of development across the nation.
Under the agreement NRG will pay up to $188 million for the projects, less than $0.10 per watt. This includes an up-front payment of $129 million, with the remainder to come once certain conditions are met including the execution of power contracts.
And while SunEdison appears to be doing everything that it can to speed this sale, including filing today for an expedited process, under bankruptcy law such assets must go through a formal bidding process.
This will mean competing offers, however SunEdison and NRG have entered into a “Stalking Horse” Agreement, under which NRG will be the lead bidder and its bid will set a floor price for any other bids which may emerge.
Under the expedited process bids would need to be submitted by September 6, with a September 9 auction and a September 15 court hearing to approve the sale of the projects. The Bankruptcy court will decide on August 18 whether or not to approve this proposed timeline.
Under new CEO John Dubel, whose career work is reorganizing bankrupt companies, SunEdison has been actively looking to offload assets and investments, including its share in yieldcos TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global.
NRG says that the bid “further confirms our ongoing commitment to renewable energy”. It also follows on an announcement earlier today that NRG’s Yieldco has entered into an agreement to acquire a full share of the 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch project.