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Japan’s Mitsui acquires SunEdison unit for $15m

The division is the latest asset of the defunct US solar developer snapped up by international investors.

Mitsui has acquired a business line previously owned by bankrupt developer SunEdison that specialises in the development and operation of distributed solar assets for commercial and industrial customers. 

Valued at $15 million, the private deal received approval from a New York bankruptcy judge at the end of last month. 

The SunEdison unit, including its assets and employees, will form part of Forefront Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsui. The California-based team, which has developed over 800MW of assets over the past decade, is now headed by Rafael Dobrzynski, who has been the unit’s general manager for the past two years. 

Under Mitsui’s ownership, Forefront Power is expected to offer a range of energy management services to its clients, in addition to distributed solar power generation. 

Mitsui said it saw distributed solar generation as “a key growth in a society which places an increasing emphasis on environmental, social and corporate governance, as well as the need for greater grid resiliency”. Government incentives and the continuing decline of solar module prices will keep on propelling the industry forward, Mitsui added. 

The Japanese trading house currently owns about 11GW of power generation assets around the world, as an independent power producer. 

SunEdison filed bankruptcy with more than $8 billion in debt last spring. Last month, Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management entered into exclusive talks to acquire SunEdison’s yieldcos, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, for up to $2.46 billion. 

That came after US utility bought a 1.5GW renewable energy portfolio from SunEdison in December and Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes announced its purchase of a 365MW pool of solar assets from the company a month later.