Total to acquire 23% stake in French developer Eren RE

Total said the acquisition is aimed at supporting its growth in the solar business and wind power market. “By partnering with Eren RE, we are leveraging a team that has a proven track record in renewable power production, and we are investing in an additional asset to accelerate our profitable growth in this segment, in line with our ambition to become the responsible energy major,” said Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

According to Total, Eren RE currently has 650 MW of renewable energy projects in operation or under construction worldwide, with another 1.5 GW under development.

The French developer has already built solar power plants in Israel (37.5 MW), Uganda (10 MW), France (43.8 MW), India (120 MW), and Greece (34.9 MW). It also jointly built a 120 MW solar facility in Rajasthan, India, with EDF Energies Nouvelles, a unit of French power utility EDF.

Total, which is also the largest shareholder of U.S. solar module manufacturer SunPower, has started to implement a strategy to expand into the renewable energy sector over the past year. In April 2016, the group announced a comprehensive new organization plan, including the creation of a fourth business segment to cover gas, renewable energy and power.

Later in July 2016, the company acquired battery producer Saft in a deal thought to be worth $1.1 billion. In November, the oil group also announced an investment of $300 million for the installation of 5,000 rooftop solar PV systems atop its service stations over the next five years. Despite this expansion strategy in the renewable energy sector, gas is expected to remain the main component of this plan.