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Clearway Energy seeks 'blanket authorization' for asset drop-downs

Clearway Energy Inc. is requesting a "blanket authorization" from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that would allow for the transfer of interests in generation assets from Clearway Energy Group LLC or GIP III Zephyr Acquisition.

The blanket authorization would be effective for three years from the date of the commission's order, subject to extension, according to a March 18 FERC application. The commission was asked to issue the authorization by May 31.

In the application, Clearway Energy said it is requesting the blanket authorization to avoid the need to file individually for transactions that do not present any concerns, competitive or otherwise.

Clearway Energy, formerly known as NRG Yield Inc., was originally formed by NRG Energy Inc. to own a diversified portfolio of contracted renewable and conventional generation and thermal infrastructure assets in the U.S. FERC had granted a three-year blanket authorization beginning June 27, 2014, between NRG and NRG Yield and granted a three-year extension in June 2017.

Clearway Group, formerly known as Zephyr Renewables LLC, was formed as a vehicle for NRG Energy's sale of its renewable business to Global Infrastructure Partners. GIP III Zephyr Acquisition is the upstream owner of Clearway Group.

"The acquisition of contracted generation assets from Clearway Group is a key element of Clearway Energy's growth strategy in the same way that the acquisition of such assets from NRG Energy was a key element of its growth strategy prior to the consummation of the Zephyr Transaction," the companies said in the filing. "Clearway Group has granted Clearway Energy a right of first refusal on certain renewable generation assets, and Clearway Energy expects that Clearway Group will continue to provide it with access to a highly capable renewable development platform supporting its growth in the future."

Clearway Group owns all of the class B and class D common shares of Clearway Energy, which represent about 55.0% of the voting interests in Clearway Energy.

The class A and class C common shares of Clearway Energy, representing about 45% of the voting interests and all of the economic interests in the company, are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols CWEN.A and CWEN, respectively. (FERC docket EC19-68)