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Business and Economy

Share Price Plunges for Operator of Maine Wind Farms Amid Bankruptcy Concerns

The operator of several wind energy facilities in Maine could be headed for bankruptcy. But Sun Edison officials say the turbines will keep spinning, and providing taxes and other benefits to host communities.

Since hitting a high of $32 per share last June, Sun Edison’s stock has been on a downward spiral, and has now dipped well below $1 a share following reports that it faces a substantial risk of bankruptcy while securities regulators investigate its business practices.

But even if Sun Edison does file for bankruptcy or is restructured, company spokesman John LaMontagne says that does not pose a risk for host communities in Maine.

That’s because the plants themselves are actually owned by separate entities.

“All of those projects have existing contracts to deliver wind energy to utilities around New England,” he says. “So therefore they have certain revenues which ensure the projects will be able to meet their obligations in terms of community benefits, taxes and whatever else.”

Sun Edison operates six wind plants in Maine, including one under construction in Bingham. It has also proposed two new big projects as part of a major effort to ship new renewable energy to southern New England.

But LaMontagne said he could not comment on how those might be affected by Sun Edison’s financial issues.