Deere Sells Wind-Energy Business To Exelon

Company said Friday it sold John Deere Renewables LLC for $900 million to focus on its core farm-equipment business.

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) -- Deere & Co. completed the $900 million sale of its wind-energy business to a subsidiary of power generator Exelon Corp.

The company said Friday it sold John Deere Renewables LLC to focus on its core farm-equipment business.

Exelon, which is renaming the business Exelon Wind, said it was new to owning and operating wind projects and the deal brings its zero-emission generation capacity to nearly 19,000 megawatts.

Deere and Exelon announced the deal in August.

Analysts have said Exelon and other power companies with cash in hand could get bargains buying power-generation assets like Deere's.

Deere once saw wind energy as a natural extension of its farm-equipment business because the arrays of turbines that generate the power are usually located in rural areas. Deere spent $1 billion over five years to finance and develop the business and buy equipment from India's Suzlon Energy.

Exelon is a major operator of nuclear power plants and has marketed wind energy in several states. It generates electricity for 5.4 million customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania and sells natural gas to about 500,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. The Deere-built business will be operated by its subsidiary Exelon Generation Co.

In afternoon trading, Deere shares rose $1.75, or 2.2 percent, to $82.38; Exelon shares gained 41 cents to $40.02.
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