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Edison Mission Energy’s bankruptcy filing won’t affect Pinnacle Wind Farm

KEYSER, W.Va. – Edison Mission Energy’s recent bankruptcy filing will not affect operations at Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage on Green Mountain, according to Douglas McFarland, EME spokesman.

“EME’s wind energy projects are not part of the chapter 11 filing,” said McFarland. “They remain a part of EME but do not rely on funding from EME and operations are not affected – in fact, operations at all of our energy generation sites are ongoing as normal and as provided for under the typical chapter 11 process.”

Edison Mission Energy, the unregulated power generation business of Edison International, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday with a proposal to transfer control of the company to holders of $3.7 billion in unsecured bonds, according to Reuters news service. The EME subsidiaries that filed for Chapter 11 protection include Midwest Generation, which manages the company’s fleet of coal-fired plants in Illinois, according to an EME news release.

As part of the restructuring process, Edison International and EME will negotiate agreements to ensure EME’s smooth and effective transition to operating as an independent entity following its separation from Edison International, which is anticipated to occur by December 2014. The company’s agreement with the noteholders and Edison International is subject to bankruptcy court approval, according to the news release.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which we believe reflects the long-term value potential of our organization,” said Pedro Pizarro, president of EME, in the news release. “This is an important first step in the process to reduce our debt, enhance our liquidity profile and position EME for continued operation and future success while preserving our ability to generate power safely and reliably at our electric facilities across the country. Throughout this process, business operations will continue in the normal course, and we will continue to support our customers, suppliers and employees.”

EME has been challenged by depressed energy and capacity prices and high fuel costs affecting its coal-fired facilities, combined with pending debt maturities and the need to retrofit its coal-fired facilities to comply with environmental regulations, according to the news release.

“EME is operationally healthy, and with the support of the noteholders, we plan to emerge from our restructuring as a recapitalized company separate from Edison International,” said Pizarro. “We believe this financial restructuring – coupled with the existing strength of our employees and assets – will position us to take advantage of new opportunities while preserving our focus on safe, reliable operations. We appreciate the ongoing dedication of all our employees, whose commitment, focus and expertise is essential to our success, and look forward to continuing to work with our suppliers and project partners.”

EME’s companies own, operate and lease a portfolio of more than 40 electric generating sites that are powered by wind, natural gas, biomass and coal, as well as an energy marketing and trading operation based in Boston, according to the news release.