Masdar set to buy into 1.6 GW EDF renewables pipeline

UAE-based Masdar is set to acquire a 50 per cent stake in a 1.6-GW portfolio of EDF Renewables North America. The portfolio comprises advanced wind, solar and energy storage projects in the US.Under the terms of the agreement, Masdar will acquire a 50 per cent interest in three utility-scale wind farms in Nebraska and Texas totalling 815 MW, and five PV solar projects in California totalling 689 MW of solar and 75 MW of lithium-ion battery energy storage.

The three wind projects include the 243 MW Coyote wind project located in Scurry County, Texas; the 273 MW Las Majadas wind project in Willacy County, Texas; and the 300 MW Milligan 1 wind project in Saline County, Nebraska. All three wind projects are currently under construction and expected to begin commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2020.The solar portfolio comprises Desert Harvest 1 and Desert Harvest 2 PV projects totaling 213 MW of solar and 35 MW / 140 MWh of battery storage in Riverside County, California; and the 173 MW Maverick 1 and 136 MW Maverick 4 solar PV projects in Riverside County. These four projects are also under construction and slated for commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2020. The final project in the portfolio is Big Beau, a 166 MW solar PV and 40 MW/160 MWh battery energy storage project coming up in Kern County. It is expected to reach commercial operation in 2021.

As the second largest renewable energy producer in the world in terms of installed power capacity, the US offers considerable scope for further growth and diversification of our renewable energy portfolio, said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. We are delighted to expand our presence there through this landmark deal to invest in eight clean energy assets in California, Nebraska and Texas, and to further strengthen our global partnership with EDF Renewables.

This is Masdar’s second strategic investment in the US. In 2019, it acquired a 50 per cent stake in two wind farms in Texas and New Mexico. Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO, EDF Renewables North America, commented, “EDFs collaboration with Masdar runs deep in the Middle East and North Africa already. This deal writes a new chapter of cooperation between our two companies focused on the North American market. I would like to highlight the exceptional quality of work for both the Masdar and EDF Renewables North America teams over the last year to execute this transaction in particularly troubled times.”

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020 as it is subject to customary regulatory approvals. BofA Securities is acting as exclusive financial adviser to Masdar.

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