EDF to boost foothold in Egyptian PV via KarmSolar stake buy

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EDF Renewables and Egyptian developer and supplier of solar power KarmSolar have signed a strategic partnership, helping the former continue its expansion into the African state. 

The partnership will see EDF Renewables, the renewable energy subsidiary of EDF Group, buy an undisclosed stake in the Egyptian firm. The investment will help bankroll various KarmSolar projects around the country, expanding the portfolio through power purchase agreements (PPAs) or distribution contracts.

KarmSolar already has close to 170MW of solar PV plant projects in operations, under construction and advanced development, and is considered a leading player in the emerging solar IPP space in Egypt.

Ahmed Zahran, the CEO of KarmSolar said that the investment constituted “a new major step to support our growth”.

“Throughout our conversations with EDF Renewables, it was very clear that they believed in what we want to achieve – which is to promote renewable energy and to make solar power more accessible.”

The investments will form part of EDF Renewables’ goal of doubling its renewable capacity worldwide between 2015 and 2030, to reach 50GW net. Currently it has a gross installed capacity of 12.5GW worldwide, with projects in Brazil, China, India, South Africa and the Middle East, as well as Europe and North America.

EDF Renewables’ executive VP for international operations Frederic Belloy said the company was “delighted”  by the partnership with KarmSolar.

“This partnership is fully in line with EDF Renewables' strategy to offer relevant solutions helping Commercial & Industrial customers achieving their low carbon ambitions through the production and consumption of a competitive renewable energy.

“This investment is also in compliance with EDF's international strategy, North Africa representing a great potential for development. Following the commissioning of our 130MWp solar power plants in Benban recently, it further strengthens our long-term development strategy in Egypt.”

Egypt is aiming to generate 45% of its power using solar power by 2035.

In August, EDF Renewables completed a 130MW PV batch at the major complex of Benban, in Egypt's south, alongside partner Elsewedy Electrics. 

The company is also expanding its operations elsewhere, entering a joint venture with Total Eren in July for a 25-year PPAs for four solar projects with a capacity of 716MW in northern India. In the same month, the company’s first project in Mexico became operational when the 119.6MW (MWp) Bluemex Power 1 Solar Project went live.

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