NRG closes on 1.5 GW-AC of SunEdison wind, solar assets

Today NRG formally walked off with the biggest and juiciest chunk of SunEdison assets to be sold off to date: 1.5 GW-AC of utility-scale solar and wind projects in Utah, Texas, Hawaii and other states, as well as 29 MW of distributed solar acquired through a separate transaction.

NRG’s gain was not only in the size of the portfolio, but in the cost. As previously reported by pv magazine the power giant picked up the utility-scale assets at the unbelievable price of $0.122 per watt (AC) through a bidding process overseen by bankruptcy courts. (Editor’s note: Figures in previous articles were given in DC and the transaction has not substantively changed)

These projects include a 1/2 share in the Four Brothers and Three Cedars projects in Utah which came online in September and together represent 530 MW-AC of capacity. After years of having an insignificant solar market Utah has become one of the largest solar markets in the United States.

NRG expects to drop down a portion of its interest in the Utah projects to yieldco NRG Yield by the end of the year.

It also includes ownership of a partially constructed 154 MW-AC solar project in Texas and 1.1 GW of solar and wind projects in other states, including 111 MW of solar projects in Hawaii which NRG describes as “construction-ready”.

For all of this NRG is paying $124 million down, $15 million when power purchase agreements for the Hawaii projects close, and $44 million when other project milestones are reached. This comes out to $183 million, or $0.122 per watt-AC.

In a separate transaction outside of SunEdison’s bankruptcy process NRG acquired 17 MW-AC of completed distributed generation (DG) solar projects in 21 sites in four states, which hold power contracts with municipalities and educational institutions. The company also bought 12 MW of “construction-ready” DG projects in Massachusetts, which likewise hold power contracts.

“Our team is well positioned to bring these projects through implementation into operation and, importantly, to achieve capital replenishment through our strategic partnership with NRG Yield,” notes NRG Head of Renewables Craig Cornelius.

The acquisition also broaden’s NRG’s geographic reach, as these are the first utility-scale renewable energy projects the company has owned in Utah and Hawaii.