E.ON acquires French PV project developer

7 July 2009 – German utility E.ON has signed a share sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of Société Conilhac Energies SAS (Conilhac), a developer of photovoltaic (PV) projects in southern France.

With this acquisition, E.ON continues the rapid development of its solar activities.

Recently E.ON opened the company’s first solar farm near the southern French town of Le Lauzet. The farm, which occupies an area of more than 20 hectares, has an installed capacity of 1 MW, and could be expanded to 5 MW, subject to the availability of a similarly sized grid connection.

Conilhac is a successful developer of PV projects in southern France, and assembled a significant pipeline of projects at various stages of maturity. The acquisition will enhance E.ON´s capabilities to develop and implement PV projects.

Between 2003 and 2008, the global photovoltaic market grew from an annual installation rate of 600 MW to around 5600 MW, a compounded annual growth rate of 55 per cent.

Although PV remains one of the most expensive renewable technologies, based on the current rate of technology development and price reduction wind parity is expected to be achieved in many countries between 2015 and 2020.

On this basis, E.ON anticipates that solar energy will follow a growth path over the coming decade similar to the one that wind energy experienced in the last decade. For that reason, E.ON is developing today the capabilities required to add solar energy to its generation mix.

Between 2007 and 2011, E.ON will be investing EUR8bn ($11bn) in the expansion of its renewable energy sources, and aims is to have approximately 10 GW of generation capacity based on renewables by 2015.

By 2030 E.ON hopes to produce 35 per cent of its power from renewable sources, 25 per cent of which will come from wind, solar, biomass and biomethane. Hydropower will account for approximately 10 per cent.

Together with nuclear, E.ON will then be generating half of its electricity from carbon-free sources. The other half will come from efficient coal and gas fired power plants.