Alliant Seeks Renewable Energy Unit Buyer, Lowers Forecast

Alliant Energy Corp., a power provider in the U.S. Midwest, is seeking a buyer for RMT after reporting losses widened more than ninefold last year at the unit.

The board will sell RMT, which designs and builds renewable-energy projects, in 2012, the Madison, Wisconsin-based company said in a statement today. The unit had a per-share loss of 19 cents in 2011, compared with a 2-cent loss the year before, Alliant said.

Alliant attributed some of the losses to a solar project in New Jersey that’s experienced delays and higher costs after the original subcontractor abandoned the job. Profit for wind projects “experienced modest erosion” last year, according to the statement.

Selling RMT will reduce consolidated earnings by 5 cents a share from previous estimates to $2.75 to $3.05 for 2012, Alliant said. The forecast excludes per-share costs of 10 to 14 cents from increased state taxes associated with the sale.

“RMT has about $235 million in contracts and those will go ahead with construction in 2012,” Scott Reigstad, a spokesman for Alliant, said in a telephone interview today.

Alliant’s fourth-quarter net income rose to $57 million, or 51 cents a share, from $47.3 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier, the company said today. Alliant fell 0.7 percent to $43.08 at the close in New York.

RMT was founded in 1977 to handle waste management, according to its website. Alliant bought it in 1983 and last year sold the environmental portion of the business to focus exclusively on wind, solar and geothermal projects.

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