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Deere Sells Its Wind-Energy Business for $900 Million

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Heavy-machinery producer Deere & Co., Moline, Ill., has inked a deal to sell John Deere Renewables LLC, its wind-energy business, to Chicago-based utility giant Exelon Corp. for up to $900 million. Expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, Deere initially gets $860 million plus up to $40 million more when planned construction projects start up. Deere formally entered the wind business in 2005 to help landowners develop wind farms. To date, Deere has installed 735 MW of wind capacity and has gathered leads on another 1,468 MW. Deere had sourced turbine gear from India’s Suzlon Energy Ltd., which in 2007 discovered defects in its blades. Suzlon later spent $100 million to retrofit 417 turbines on wind farms in the U.S. and Australia. Despite this past turbulence, Exelon says it sees future revenue, as roughly 75% of Deere’e clean-energy portfolio was sold through long-term power-purchase agreements.

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