August 14, 2020 Read More →

UAE’s Masdar buys big stake in EDF Renewables’ U.S. renewable energy pipeline

Greentech Media:

In one of the U.S. renewable energy market’s biggest deals in a challenging year, Masdar is set to acquire a 50 percent stake in a 1.6-gigawatt portfolio of advanced wind, solar and energy storage projects from EDF Renewables North America.

The deal, expected to close later this year, represents a new front in the global renewables collaboration between EDF and Masdar, which to date has largely focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

Last year, state-owned Masdar, part of the United Arab Emirates’ Mubadala Investment Corp., made its first foray into the U.S. renewables market, buying stakes in two smaller wind farms from the U.K.-based John Laing Group. Mubadala is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. The latest eight-project deal with EDF is a big step up. Masdar will buy half-stakes in three wind farms in Nebraska and Texas totaling 815 megawatts, as well as five solar projects in California — two with batteries — totaling 689 megawatts of PV and 75 megawatts of storage. All but one of the projects are due for completion in 2020, with one of the solar plants expected online next year. The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.

Aside from its sheer size, the deal is important for having come together during the COVID-19 pandemic, Raphael Declercq, executive vice president for portfolio strategy at EDF Renewables North America, said in an interview.

“There was strong interest in this portfolio, which I think really contrasts with the…[2008 Great Recession when] renewables were still on the fringe,” Declercq said. “The capital markets were unsure if they were going to invest in renewables at that time. This time around, I think capital is still there for renewables, and [it is] here to stay,” he said. “We’re in a crisis, yet we’re finding ways to raise money.”

EDF, which is currently building the Middle East’s largest wind farm in Saudi Arabia in partnership with Masdar, may work with Masdar further in the U.S., though there’s no formal framework in place, Declercq said. EDF Renewables North America often brings investors onto its projects, which it continues to co-own and operate.

[Karl-Erik Stromsta]

More: Masdar buys into 1.6GW EDF Renewables pipeline in one of the year’s biggest deals

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