Deere to Sell Wind-Energy Biz for $900 Million

Equipment builder will emphasize core market; Exelon grows alternative-energy asset base

Agricultural equipment builder Deere & Co. has a definitive agreement to sell its John Deere Renewables, LLC subsidiary to Exelon Generation Co. LLC, an Exelon Corp. subsidiary, for $900 million. In February Deere announced it aimed to sell the wind-energy business. The sale should be completed before the end of this year, according to Deere’s statement.

John Deere Renewables includes 36 wind-energy operations in eight states with operational capacity of 735 megawatts. A number of other wind-energy projects are in development.

"As Deere sharpens its own strategic focus, we have concluded that the company's resources are best invested in growing our core equipment businesses around the world," stated Deere & Co. chairman and CEO Samuel R. Allen. "We have chosen to place the wind portfolio with Exelon in part due to its demonstrated leadership in the energy industry."

Exelon is an electricity generating and distributing company, with holdings in nuclear, hydro, and fossil-fuel generation, as well as leases on renewable-energy projects like wind, solar-power, and landfill gas generating projects. John Deere Renewables will bring to it rights to pursue 1,468 MW of new wind projects in development, including 230 MW in advanced stages of development.

Exelon already is the largest wholesale marketer of wind energy east of the Mississippi, with 352 megawatts of wind power capacity from five wind projects.

Chairman and CEO John Rowe said Exelon will profit as deal will as more states require emission-free generation. Meanwhile, on the national level, wind energy advocates are pushing for a renewable energy standard from the federal government.

"We expect to see increasing demand for clean, efficient wind power at a national level and in the 29 states that already have a renewable energy standard," Rowe said. "This acquisition gives Exelon a strong position in the wind-generation business that adds diversity to our generation fleet and provides more options for future growth."

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