Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR), France's second largest electricity producer, which is 49.97% owned by GDF Suez, has bought a wind power portfolio with a potential installed capacity of up to 850 MW for an undisclosed sum. The "Fox portfolio" consists of 40 MW of operating capacity, 26 MW under construction or waiting to build and 284 MW in the permitting process. The deal also includes an option on a development pipeline of up to 500 MW. The projects are located mostly in the northwest of France, with another cluster in the lower Rhône valley. The seller of the portfolio requested anonymity, although CNR reportedly bought the 40 MW of operating capacity from a local subsidiary of German wind project developer Energieteam. Prior to the purchase, CNR had just 33.5 MW turning and about 150 MW at an advanced stage of development. Since then it has completed two more plant in the lower Rhône valley: 6.9 MW at Bollène which was scheduled to come online last month and 4.6 MW at Pouzin, due to come online early this year. Nordex supplied the five 2.3 MW turbines from Denmark, with the blades and some tower components shipped down the Rhône by barge. The new acquisition brings CNR's operating wind capacity to 100 MW and should allow it reach 430 MW by 2012.
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