UAE’s Masdar announced that it has achieved the first closing on the acquisition of 50 percent of a 1.6-gigawatt (GW) clean-energy portfolio of projects in the United States from EDF Renewables North America.
Masdar and EDF Renewables North America announced last year that they had agreed to partner in eight renewable energy projects, including three utility-scale wind projects in Nebraska and Texas totalling 815 megawatts (MW), and five photovoltaic (PV) solar projects in California totalling 689 MW – two of which include lithium-ion battery energy storage systems representing 75 MW.
All three wind projects are currently in the final stage of construction and expected to begin commercial operations in the first quarter of this year. The 243 MW Coyote wind project is located in Scurry County, Texas; the 273 MW Las Majadas wind project is in Willacy County, Texas; and the 300 MW Milligan 1 wind project is in Saline County, Nebraska.
Of the five projects in California, four started commercial operations in December 2020, all located in Riverside County. These include the Desert Harvest 1 and Desert Harvest 2 PV projects, which total 213MWdc of solar, and the Maverick 1 and Maverick 4 PV projects which total 309 MWdc. The final project in California is Big Beau, a 128 MWdc solar PV and 40 MW/160 MWh battery energy-storage system, which is in Kern County and will reach commercial operation in December 2021.
“This is a significant milestone in our collaboration with EDF Renewables North America, with these projects now actively contributing to US renewable energy objectives,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. “As the second-largest renewable energy producer in the world in terms of installed power capacity, the US offers considerable scope for further growth, and with President Joe Biden having made clean energy investment a key priority for his administration, we clearly anticipate greater opportunities in this market.”
“I am very pleased to extend to the United States, our historic partnership with Masdar established in the Middle East. The U.S. renewables market represents a highly attractive growth potential. It is also a major market for EDF Renewables where we have achieved a leading position in the last three decades, both in solar and wind energies but also in battery energy storage systems. Through this new cooperation with Masdar, we will continue to build on our joint successes,” added Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables.
Power from the diversified portfolio projects will be sold under long-term contracts to a variety of offtakers, including utilities, hedge providers and community choice aggregators (CCAs).