Mitsubishi acquires 55 MW of a French Photovoltaic Park

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The Toul-Rosières photovoltaic park is located on a former NATO airbase close to Nancy in eastern France and has a total capacity of 115MW, making it one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in the world.

The project has been developed and built by EDF Energies Nouvelles, and operation and maintenance services are managed by one of its subsidiaries. It started its operation in June 2012 and benefits from a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with EDF (EDF is the French electric utility, which owns 100% EDF Energies Nouvelles).

The cost to develop the French plant was around €200m, however financial details of the acquisition have not yet been disclosed.

Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice president for strategy, M&A and DSSA at EDF EN commented on the press release: "The collaboration with Mitsubishi has been very successful on Toul. We believe it is a key milestone in the development of our partnership."

In July of last year, independent power producer, Sonnedix acquired a 24 MW stake in the 115 MW Toul-Rosieres solar park.

Mitsubishi Strategy in Europe

This is the first time for Mitsubishi has acquired a photovoltaic power generating asset in France and for it to share ownership of a large scale power plant with EDF EN.

Nobuaki Kojima, executive vice president at Mitsubishi commented: "We made the great first step and this transaction creates a prosperous partnership between EDF EN and Mitsubishi. We are quite satisfied to be with a strong partner in France and we will ensure to expand our collaboration."

However, Mitsubishi’s press release stated that infrastructure business is a strategic core area for the Japanese company as highlighted in its Midterm Corporate Strategy 2012. Thus, it has purchased the stake at the French plant, in addition to the existing solar power generating assets in Spain and Portugal: "Mitsubishi aims to continue to promote solar power generation projects not only in France, but also in the Southern Europe."

Last week U.S. subsidary of EDF EN, EDF Renewable Energy, announced that it had closed financing of its 143 Catalina project which, like the Toul-Rosières park, uses thin film modules.

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