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2 deals position NextEra Energy Partners to double its renewables portfolio

NextEra Energy Partners is on track to nearly double its portfolio of renewable energy assets, adding almost 2,000 MW from two transactions. In early March, the company agreed to acquire 611 MW of wind and solar from corporate affiliate NextEra Energy Resources LLC. The companies closed a similar transaction in December 2018, in which NextEra Energy Partners acquired 1,388 MW at 10 plants.

NextEra Energy Partners is a limited partnership formed by NextEra Energy Inc. and NextEra Energy Resources is a power plant developer and wholesale energy supplier subsidiary of NextEra Energy.

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Prior to the deal that closed in December 2018, NextEra Energy Partners owned 1,901 MW of wind and solar capacity. Through that deal, the company acquired assets across the Midwest, western and southern U.S. that include nine wind plants totaling 1,362 MW and one 20-MW solar plant. According to NextEra Energy Partners Chairman and CEO Jim Robo, the transaction replaces the 396 MW of Canadian wind and solar assets the company sold in July 2018 to a pension fund manager.

The largest single facility in the December 2018 transaction is the Rush Springs Wind Farm (Grady & Stephens Counties) in Oklahoma, whose output is sold to two corporate purchasers. Most of the plants acquired have active power purchase agreements. Evergy, Inc. subsidiary Westar Energy Inc. is the largest of these offtakers, with contract for 207 MW from the Kingman Wind Energy Center and a contract for 208 MW from the Ninnescah Wind Farm, both in Kansas. Both PPAs run for 20 years, and are set to expire in 2036.

The acquisition announced in March includes another six plants in the Midwest and western U.S. If the transaction closes, NextEra Energy Partners will have full ownership of three wind plants, totaling 420 MW. This includes the Story County II - Garden Wind facility in Hardin County, Iowa, and the White Oak Wind Energy Center in McLean County, Ill., both of which are 150 MW, as well as the 120-MW Ashtabula II – NextEra plant in Steele County, N.D.

NextEra Partners would also acquire a 49.99% stake in three solar facilities: Silver State South in Clark County, Nev., Roswell Solar in Chaves County, N.M., and the Marshall Solar Project in Lyon County, Minn., which together total 191 MW.

Most of the capacity from the six plants is under contract. The Tennessee Valley Authority, for instance, has a 20-year contract for the full capacity of the White Oak Wind Energy Center, and Xcel Energy Inc. subsidiary Southwestern Public Service Co. has a contract for the full output of the Roswell Solar plant that lasts through 2041.

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