UAE investor acquires part of 1.6-GW U.S. wind, solar & storage portfolio

A United Arab Emirates-owned investment fund is taking a 50-percent stake in 1.6-GW of clean energy portfolio of projects in the U.S.

EDF Renewables North America, a wing of French-owned EDF, partnered with Masdar as investor on wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage. This is the second U.S. renewable investment for Masdar, which is a subsidiary of UAE’s Mubadala Investment Co.

Masdar acquired interest in three utility-scale wind farms in Nebraska and Texas totaling 815 MW. The deal also includes five solar PV projects in California–two of those paired with battery storage systems–totaling 689 MW of solar and 75 MW of storage.

“As the second largest renewable energy producer in the world in terms of installed power capacity, the U.S. offers considerable scope for further growth and diversification of our renewable energy portfolio,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. “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.”

Masdar made its first entry into the US market last year, acquiring a 50 percent interest in two wind farms in Texas and New Mexico.

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. All three wind projects are currently under construction and expected to begin commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In Riverside County, California, the Desert Harvest 1 and Desert Harvest 2 PV projects total 213 MW of solar and 35 MW / 140 MWh of battery storage. Also in Riverside County are the 173 MW Maverick 1 and 136 MW Maverick 4 solar PV projects. These four projects are also under construction and slated for commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2020. The final project in the portfolio is Big Beau, a 166 MW solar PV and 40 MW/160 MWh battery energy storage project, which is in Kern County and will reach commercial operation in 2021. All solar projects utilize horizontal single-axis tracking technology.

In the U.S., utility-scale wind and solar have grown from a minuscule portion a decade ago to about 10 percent of the nation’s generation capacity. Nearly 24,000 MW of new net solar and wind capacity has been added just since 2018.

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