Suzlon Group, through U.S.-based subsidiary SWECO, has acquired the 240 MW Big Sky wind park in Illinois from Edison Mission Energy (EME). Suzlon announced the deal in a filing with the National Stock Exchange of India but did not disclose financial details.
When contacted, a Suzlon company spokesperson declined to supply more details. However, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report, Suzlon had been pushing for years to collect a $228 million loan it made to EME to purchase turbines for the Big Sky project. The wind farm features 114 of the turbine maker's S88 machines. In 2012, Suzlon filed a lawsuit seeking payment, but EME soon after filed for bankruptcy.
In February, EME indicated negotiations to hand over the Big Sky project if Suzlon agreed to waive the loan and purchase the wind farm for a nominal price.
‘We are very pleased to have worked with our long-time customer Edison Mission on this transaction," says Duncan Koerbel, CEO of SWECO, in the Suzlon exchange filing. "Our relationship with Edison Mission dates back to the earliest days of Suzlon doing business with the U.S., and we are pleased to have been their partner."
Bloomberg also notes that Suzlon's acquisition of Blue Sky paves the way for the turbine company to sell the project to EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. The news report says the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission already approved the proposed sale in March, and Suzlon expects to make back less than half of the $228 million loan it had made to EME.
Separately, New Jersey-based NRG Energy has acquired essentially all of EME's other assets, representing an 8 GW conventional and renewable generation portfolio, for $2.635 million.