Solar-farm developer SunEdison Inc. SUNE +1.09% landed a contract to build New York City’s largest solar park on a former landfill. Shares of the solar company have risen 297% so far this year, and 356% in the past 12 months, in line with a broader rally this year for often volatile solar stocks. The solar facility on Staten Island’s Freshkills Park has the potential to generate up to 10 megawatts of power, or enough to power approximately 2,000 homes. It will increase the city’s renewable energy capacity by 50%.
Freshkills was once the largest landfill in the world; the city is trying to transform it into a park three times the size of Central Park. The area, spanning 2,200 acres, served as the city’s main landfill until 2001. Most of New York City’s trash is now trucked to landfills and incinerators in several states as far away as Ohio and South Carolina. SunEdison’s bigger plans don’t stop there. The company has said it plans to spin off some of its solar power plants into a new listed company next year, raising a potential $300 million in the process.
The Missouri-based company plans to float 20% to 30% of its subsidiary SunEdison Yield Co. Analysts at RBC Capital said in a recent note to clients they expect SunEdison to emerge as a dominant player in the very fragmented solar installation field. They rated the company “outperform” with a price target of $18 a share.