Wind farm companies make $650 million deal

German utility company E.ON has sold most of its minority ownership stake in a 126-turbine central Indiana wind farm to majority owner Enbridge Inc.

E.On's sale of 80 percent of its stake in the 202-megawatt Wildcat Wind Farm is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, The Herald Bulletin reported Sunday. The deal estimated at $650 million also includes a majority stake in the 203-megawatt Magic Valley wind farm in Texas.

The deal is expected to close in January, Enbridge spokesman Larry Springer said. Enbridge is increasing its renewable energy assets to offset energy the company uses to pump crude oil through its pipelines, including one traveling through northwestern Indiana's Lake County, he said.

"We have made a public commitment to offset the energy and plan to have a neutral footprint by 2015," he said.

E.ON will continue to operate the Wildcat farm about 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis in eastern Tipton County and northern Madison County, Springer said.

Both the first phase of the Wildcat project and the Texas wind farm were completed by E.ON in 2012 and have the capacity to produce energy for more than 120,000 homes. E.ON in the past had planned to expand the Wildcat farm, where earlier this year two blades broke off turbines. It also endured complaints this year from nearby residents about its noise and the loss of broadcast television reception around the wind farm.

E.ON has struggled with massive debts but also announced plans this month to spin off its nuclear, oil, coal and gas operations to focus on renewable energy and power distribution.

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