Austria’s Verbund bags renewable portfolio in Spain

Highlights :

The deal is part of Verbund’s plan to produce 20-25 per cent of its electricity from photovoltaic sources and offshore wind farms.

Austrian hydropower utility Verbund said on Monday it had acquired a portfolio of renewable energy assets in Spain from local private equity fund Q-Energy for an undisclosed sum.

The assets include operating photovoltaic power plants with a combined capacity of 82 megawatts (MW) and projects planned to have an eventual capacity of up to 4,000 MW, the company said. All are located in Castille La Mancha in central Spain and sunny Andalusia in the south.

The deal is part of Verbund’s plan to produce 20-25 per cent of its electricity from photovoltaic sources and offshore wind farms.

Three sources close to the matter said the portfolio was valued at 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Energy companies’ appetite for renewable assets is increasing amid pressure from investors and governments to tackle climate change.

Competition for assets is intensifying as ambitious green targets have pitched oil and gas companies against traditional utilities in the race for renewable power generation.

Oil major Shell and Spanish utility Naturgy were considering bids for the Q-Energy assets, the sources said last month.

In March this year, the Bavarian Minister of State for Energy, Hubert Aiwanger, met representatives of VERBUND for a “Bavarian-Austrian Energy Dialogue” in Vienna, as a consequence of which the company joined the Bavarian Hydrogen Alliance.

The Bavarian Hydrogen Alliance is a networking, knowledge and interest platform of more than 240 hydrogen actors from business, science and politics and is coordinated by the Hydrogen Centre Bavaria (H2.B).

In Bavaria, VERBUND is best known as the operator of hydropower plants on the Bavarian Inn and in the border regions of the Inn and Danube. The company generates around 5.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 21 power plants, of which around 4 billion kilowatt hours for Bavaria.

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