NRG Energy closes EME purchase

NRG Energy says it has completed its previously announced $2.635bn acquisition of Edison Mission Energy’s (EME) generation assets including about 1.73GW of wind capacity.

Aside from 30 wind projects in 11 states, NRG will also acquire 4.3GW of coal-fired generation capacity and other assets from EME.

On 1 January 2013, EME ranked eighth among wind capacity owners in the US behind NextEra Energy Resources, Iberdrola Renewables, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, EDPR, E.ON Climate and Renewables, Invenergy and EDF Renewable Energy.

NRG says the deal will create the second-largest US power company with capacity to supply nearly 48 million homes, and the third largest renewable energy generator here.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last month approved the sale after a US court gave the green light for EME’s reorganization plan that will allow it to emerge from bankruptcy free of liabilities following the transaction.

EME filed for bankruptcy in December 2012. It cited challenges arising from “depressed energy and capacity prices and high fuel costs affecting its coal-fired facilities, combined with pending debt maturities and the need to retrofit its coal-fired facilities to comply with environmental regulations.”

Parent Edison International, which is solvent, has settled other EME liabilities and will remain owner of other assets. EME is based in Santa Ana, California.

NRG Energy says it may sell 1.1GW of wind capacity among EME generation assets to subsidiary NRG Yield.  

 NRG Energy created NRG Yield in 2013 with 1.324GW of its own generating assets. It now owns 1.447GW, of which 414MW are renewables assets -- including full ownership of five utility-scale solar farms, and 48.95% of the California Valley Solar Ranch and 49.95% of the Avenal solar farm.