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BP spinning off U.S. wind farms; Mehoopany facility part of energy company’s sale plans  

Credit:  By Roger DuPuis | June 26, 2013 | www.timesleader.com ~~

British energy company BP is looking to sell off all of its U.S. wind power operations, including the recently completed $250 million Mehoopany Wind Farm in Wyoming County.

“While these assets no longer fit BP’s business profile, they still offer significant value for another energy company,” BP spokesman Matt Hartwig said Tuesday.

“We continue to safely operate that asset and will do so until such time that it may sell,” Hartwig added.

News of the company’s decision made headlines in April, although Hartwig said the firm had not previously issued a press release regarding the move.

“They’ve been good partners,” Mehoopany Township Supervisor G. William Henning said Tuesday. “I’ll be sorry to see them go.”

Henning, who said he believes he learned about the sale plans “from one of their guys,” said he didn’t expect any difficulty working with whomever buys the facility.

Henning and fellow Supervisor Eloise J. Day said the township at year’s end received a $20,000 payment under a host community agreement. Neither Henning nor Day had the full details of that agreement available Tuesday, although Henning said he believed the pact would continue under a new owner.

The 88-turbine wind farm spans a 9,000-acre site that incorporates parts of Noxen, Forkston, Mehoopany and Eaton townships. It became fully operational at the end of last year, when BP Wind Energy had workers on overtime to make sure the facility was on line by Dec. 31 to take full advantage of a tax credit set to expire.

BP is marketing its interests in 16 operating wind farms located in nine states, with a combined generating capacity of approximately 2,600 megawatts of renewable power, with another 2,000 megawatts nearly shovel-ready, he said.

While Hartwig did not indicate what the assets might be worth, numerous media reports when the sale was announced pegged the properties’ value at about $1.5 billion. He did, however, dispute reports suggesting sale plans arose from BP’s need to to raise $38 billion from assets sales in order to cover costs arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I would not tie it to the spill as we have reached our targets with respect to that dollar figure,” Hartwig said, characterizing the move as a matter of “portfolio management” as BP renews its focus on oil and gas operations.

Source:  By Roger DuPuis | June 26, 2013 | www.timesleader.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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