Masdar makes US solar debut through ‘landmark’ deal with EDF

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EDF’s Desert Harvest Solar project in California is included in the agreement. Image: EDF Renewables North America.

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar will acquire a 50% stake in 689MW of solar assets from EDF in the US, marking its first solar investment in the country.

Under the terms of the agreement with EDF Renewables North America, Masdar has bought a 50% interest in five PV projects in California – two of which include battery energy storage systems – totalling 689MW of solar and 75MW of lithium-ion battery energy storage.

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The company has also acquired the same stake in three utility-scale wind farms in Nebraska and Texas. In total, the deal sees Masdar acquire a 50% interest in a 1.6GW clean energy portfolio.

Masdar made its first entry into the US renwables market last year, buying into two wind farms in Texas and New Mexico. CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said the US offers “considerable scope for further growth and diversification” of the company’s renewable energy portfolio.

“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,” he said.

‘A new chapter of cooperation’

Masdar is buying stakes in the Desert Harvest 1 and Desert Harvest 2 PV projects in Riverside County, California, which total 213MW of solar and 35MW/140MWh of battery storage. Also in Riverside County are the 173MW Maverick 1 and 136MW Maverick 4 solar PV projects. These four parks are under construction and slated to begin commercial operations later this year.

The final solar project in the portfolio is Big Beau, a 166MW solar PV and 40MW/160MWh battery energy storage project, which is located in Kern County and is due to be fully operational in 2021.

Power from the projects will be sold under long-term contracts to a range of utilities, hedge providers and community choice aggregators.

The deal between EDF and Masdar follows other collaborations between the two companies in North Africa and the Middle East. EDF previously joined the Masdar-led consortium responsible for the development of the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the United Arab Emirates. And alongside Green Africa, the companies were selected last year to deploy an 800MW triple solar hybrid in Morocco.

Tristan Grimbert, CEO of EDF Renewables North America, said the latest deal writes “a new chapter of cooperation between our two companies focused on the North American market”.

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