NRG completes sale of renewables platform to GIP
- NRG Energy has completed the sale of its renewables platform, which officials say marks a "critical" step in the company's reorganization plan announced last summer.
- The final deal contributed $1.3 billion in cash proceeds to NRG and removed $6.7 billion of debt from its balance sheet, the company said Friday. The reorganization will focus the company on growing its retail electricity business and strengthening its balance sheet.
- Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) purchased NRG Yield, formerly NRG's renewable development arm and will now operate it as Clearway Energy Inc. The company will now trade as "CWEN" on the The New York Stock Exchange.
The completion of NRG's renewable energy sale frees the company up to expand its retail business, while allowing GIP to take over one of the largest renewables development pipelines in the United States.
The plan leaves NRG looking very different than it did in 2015, when former CEO David Crane left the company. Crane had championed the independent power provider's move into the renewable and distributed energy markets. But the company racked up debt, the stock price fell and Crane stepped down in 2015.
Last year NRG sold its residential solar arm, NRG Home.
NRG President and CEO Mauricio Gutierrez took over the company following Crane's departure. In a statement, he called the asset sales "a critical part of our transformation."
Gutierrez also said that with the transaction complete, NRG would now be proceeding with the remainder of its 2018 capital allocation plan, "including our share buyback and deleveraging programs."
According to Clearway, its new owner GIP provides "a leading sponsor with substantial financial resources to accelerate development of the next generation of drop down projects."
NRG Energy got a surprise this summer when it was forced to abandon plans to convert an upstate New York coal plant to burn natural gas. The company cited variables in the project and its timing and the potential for up to $100 million in interconnection costs and fees.
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