NextEra sells wind project in Wisconsin

The leading wind power owner in the United States has agreed to sell a 30-MW site to Wisconsin Energy for $27m, the utility said.

NextEra Energy Energy (NYSE: NEE) in Florida agreed to sell the Montfort Energy Center, a 20-turbine wind farm that opened in 2001.

The deal was announced during a conference call with investors to discuss Wisconsin Energy’s second quarter results.

“We believe this acquisition will deliver positive economic benefits for our customers and our shareholders,” said Gale Klappa, the utility’s chairman and CEO.

Of the 30 MW that the Montfort Energy Center generates, 4.5 MW is sold to Madison-based Wisconsin Power & Light Co. and the remainder sold to We Energies, which is part of Wisconsin Energy. The project generates enough power for about 9,000 typical homes, according to NextEra.

The deal would allow We Energies to buy the entire output from the wind farm beginning in 2021, when the power purchase agreement with Wisconsin Power & Light expires.

The company is acquiring the plant to help it comply with Wisconsin’s renewable portfolio standard.

Based on wind farms it has built, purchase of renewable energy credits and the $250m biomass power plant under construction in Rothschild, We Energies expects to be in compliance with the state’s renewable portfolio standard through 2018, Klappa said.

Under state law, We Energies must generate 8.25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

The purchase price is roughly about half of what it would cost to build the equivalent amount of wind power in a new project.