Exelon buys John Deere wind operation

US - John Deere has sold its wind operation and development division to utility Exelon Corporation, in a deal worth about $860 million.

ohn Deere's Bluegrass Ridge project in Missour
Exelon announced yesterday that it will buy John Deere Renewables in a debt-financed deal.

John Deere Renewables will become part of Exelon Power, a division of Exelon Generation.

After the sale Exelon will own wind farms for the first time. The sale includes 735MW of operating wind capacity, spread across 36 projects in eight states.

About three-quarters of this power is contracted under long-term power purchase agreements, the utility said.

Most recently, John Deere signed two PPAs for Michigan wind farms with Consumers Energy.

Exelon also acquires 230MW in advanced stages of development.

The deal has a provision to raise the purchase price by up to $40 million when construction begins on these projects.

John Deere Renewables has another 1,218 MW of wind projects in early stages of development, which Exelon may choose to continue developing.

Exelon distributes electricity to 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania. Its subsidiaries include customer-facing utilities PECO and ComEd.

The utility already buys 352MW of wind power from five wind projects in Illinois, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Exelon says.

Windpower Monthly reported in March that John Deere had hired Goldman Sachs to review the options for selling off the company’s wind business.

Exelon expects to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2010.