Italian utility A2A has said it will be able to accelerate its renewable generation growth plans thanks to a new partnership with investment house Ardian, as the partners establish what they claim will be Italy’s second-largest platform focused on the energy transition.
Paris-headquartered Ardian will invest up to €1.5 billion (US$1.83 billion) in equity in the new entity, called NewCo, which will feature a portfolio of A2A’s solar and other renewables generation plants, energy management storage assets and hydrogen projects that have a combined value of €3 billion.
After the capital increase, Ardian will hold up to 45% of NewCo, an entity that will become the exclusive vehicle for both its and A2A’s future investments in Italy’s renewable energy generation sector.
Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of A2A, said the deal will allow the company to accelerate by several years the renewable generation growth objectives included in its strategic plan to 2030. Published earlier this year, the plan calls for the utility to reach 5.7GW of renewables capacity by the end of the decade through an investment of more than €4 million.
The companies said the new entity will have a decarbonisation strategy in line with the objectives set out by the Paris Agreement and Italy’s national energy and climate plan, which calls for the country to reach 51GW of installed solar PV by 2030, up from approximately 21.3GW at the end of last year.
The latest collaboration builds on a partnership signed by A2A and Ardian last November focused on green hydrogen that will see them look to identify the most suitable sites to integrate existing or planned renewable power plants and hydrogen production units.
A2A earlier this year bolstered its solar PV portfolio through an acquisition of 17 Italian projects with a combined capacity of 173MW from UK-based Octopus Renewables. The plants, located in the Lazio and Sardinia regions, have the possibility of supporting technologies such as storage and hydrogen “in the near future”, A2A said.
When that deal was announced in February, A2A said the acquired projects would add to the 111MW of PV projects that it already owned.
Other developments of note in Italy’s solar sector this year include oil company Eni co-creating a joint venture that will aim to reach 1GW of installed renewables capacity in the next five years, as well as France-based independent power producer Qair completing applications to obtain permits for 500MW of solar projects in Sicily.