French EDF sets up British renewables unit

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French utility EDF is looking to strengthen its position in the British renewable energy market by setting up a 50-50 joint venture between its French renewables arm, EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN), and its British subsidiary EDF Energy. Both companies will contribute projects from their development portfolios to the new company, to be called EDF Energy Renewables. EDF EN will also provide development expertise and access to turbines under the framework agreements it has with Vestas, Repower and Enercon. EDF Energy, on the other hand, will buy output from the completed projects. Once established, EDF Energy Renewables will develop and operate its own projects and will also grow by acquisition. The target is around 1000 MW of renewable energy generation by 2012, most of which will be wind power. "Offshore will be a key development driver for EDF Energy Renewables, building on our experience both at Teesside in the UK and at Thornton Bank in Belgium," says Christian Egal, CEO of the new company. EDF Energy currently has 5.2 MW of operating wind power capacity and 26.4 MW under construction and has consent for 90 MW off the coast of Teesside. EDF EN's net operating capacity in Britain amounts to 103 MW, with 51 MW net under construction. Operating plant will remain under EDF EN and EDF Energy ownership.

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