Q CELLS is set to double its clean energy project pipeline in Europe to around 10GW as its parent company secures a deal to acquire a French renewables development and construction business owned by the RES Group.
Hanwha Solutions has signed an agreement to purchase 100% of the equity interest of RES Méditerranée, also known as RES France, which has a pipeline in France consisting of 5GW of utility-scale solar, onshore wind and storage projects.
Founded in 1999, RES France has to date delivered 68 renewable energy projects. The business is headquartered in Avignon and has six regional offices located throughout France.
While the deal will see RES offload its French development interests, the UK-headquartered renewable energy company will retain its support services business in France as it expands its asset management as well as operations and maintenance activities.
South Korea-based module manufacturer Q CELLS said the proposed transaction reflects its strategy to expand its focus beyond solar to other renewable energy sectors, including onshore and offshore wind. As part of its downstream energy business, Q CELLS currently has a global project pipeline of approximately 10GW, with around 5GW of this in Europe.
Prior to the RES France deal, Q CELLS’ European pipeline has mostly been concentrated in the Iberian Peninsula. Last year, the company secured 315MW of PV capacity in Portugal’s solar auction and acquired project development rights for around 1,370MW of Spanish solar through two separate deals with developer RIC Energy.
“The contemplated acquisition of RES France would lay the foundation for a rapid expansion of Q CELLS’ French renewable business and will diversify its European pipelines in a single stroke,” the company said in a press release.
Q CELLS CEO Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim said the planned acquisition shows that the company “is willing to move boldly” into the French renewable energy market and to make a significant contribution to the French energy transition.
As France aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the European Commission last month approved the country’s new €30.5 billion (US$35.8 billion) aid scheme that will support renewable electricity production. The scheme includes seven tenders for a total of 34GW of renewables capacity that will be organised between 2021 and 2026.