The renewable energy unit of Portuguese utility EDP acquired the stake from Energia e Natura, a subsidiary of the Italian industrial conglomerate Co-ver Group, for EUR 12 million. Additional payments will be made when project milestones are reached.
"With this agreement, Energia e Natura essentially becomes the Italian branch of EDPR," explained Fabio Mottura, a business developer with Energia e Natura.
While the current project pipeline is entirely in Apulia, other regions in southern and central Italy are expected to be on the group’s radar for wind, Mottura said.
EDPR classifies four Italian projects with combined capacity of 108 MW, as 'Tier 2' with another 98 MW classified as 'Tier 3' and the remainder as 'prospects'. EDPR assigns 'Tier 1', or ready-to-build, status to projects with all authorizations and a minimum two years of wind data.
EDPR is the latest of a string of foreign utilities to be attracted by Italy’s high incentive prices and strong growth rate for wind. The UK’s International Power, German utilities RWE and E.on, France’s EDF, Spain’s Iberdrola and Switzerland’s Alpiq are among those active.
For the Portuguese firm, the deal brings to ten the number of countries in which it operates. EDPR says its geographical diversification strategy should help ensure sustainable and profitable long-term growth.