GE joins consortium to buy Iberdrola’s wind biz

European wind power. AP photo

General Electric said Wednesday it is part of the consortium that is buying 32 operating wind farms in France from the Spanish company Iberdrola.

MEAG — the asset management arm of Munich Re and ERGO — and EDF Energies Nouvelles joined GE Energy Financial Services in the 350 million euro, or about $463 million, deal.

This is not the first time a Connecticut-based company has bought something from Iberdrola. The Spanish company sold Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas companies to New Haven-based United Illuminating several years ago.

The portfolio of onshore wind farms, which are spread throughout France and were commissioned in 2006-2012, have a combined capacity of 321.4 megawatts using turbines from a variety of manufacturers. Electricity generated is sold according to long-term contracts under France’s feed-in tariff.

Shares if GE were up 1.53 percent to $21.31, on a day the market surged after news that the U.S. Congress actually prevented income tax increases on people making less than $400,000.

Upon completion of the transaction, subject to regulatory approval, the wind portfolio’s ownership will be: GE Energy Financial Services and MEAG at 40 percent apiece, and EDF Energies Nouvelles at 20 percent. EDF Energies Nouvelles will provide asset management and operation & maintenance services for the wind farms. The consortium envisions re-powering some of the wind farms, which feature 160 turbines, to improve their efficiency and reliability using GE technology.

Rob Varnon