European utility giant, E.ON, is to sell its solar business in Italy to private infrastructure fund, F2i.
A statement by the two companies said the portfolio acquired by F2i consisted of seven ground-mounted solar plants built between 2010 and 2013. The transaction price was not disclosed.
Although the divestment by E.ON comes as Italian solar investors get to grips with the impact of retroactive cuts to the feed-in tariffs available for PV power plants, E.ON said the portfolio would provide “stable cash flows” in the long term.
About 70% of the capacity bought from E.ON is on the island of Sardinia, where irradiation is strong, the company said.
F2i said the deal continued its strategy of buying renewable energy projects in Italy and building up portfolios that because of their scale would be profitable. The company already has substantial interests in Italy's wind sector.
Last year, one player in the Italian PV market warned of the prospects of a “fire sale” of cheap PV power plants as investors try to rid themselves of assets that no longer pay their way because of the reduced FiT.
However, one fillip for Italy’s PV fleet is the recent repeal of a corporation tax paid by energy firms that one developer said this week could cancel out the FiT reductions.