Coal Generator's Bankruptcy Threatens Solar Farm in Maryland

(Bloomberg) -- There may be an unexpected victim of coal generator FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.’s bankruptcy: a solar farm in Maryland.

The 20-megawatt plant in Washington County has a contract to sell its output to FirstEnergy Solutions, but the power-purchase agreement may be terminated because of the bankruptcy, according to a filing Thursday by 8Point3 Energy Partners LP, which owns the facility.

8Point3 expects to take a $40 million to $48 million non-cash impairment this quarter, according to the filing. The charge would affect net income but not adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or cash available for distribution.

FirstEnergy Solutions filed for bankruptcy March 31. The next day, it filed a motion to authorize its units to reject some energy contracts, including the power-purchase agreement with the Maryland solar farm, according to the filing.

8Point3 was founded by panel manufacturers First Solar Inc. and SunPower Corp. Asset manager Capital Dynamics is in the process of buying it for $977 million, and 8Point3 doesn’t expect the Maryland issue to jeopardize the deal.

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