EDF negotiates Luxel acquisition to boost its French solar deployment

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The renewable energy arm of French power company EDF has entered talks to acquire French solar power company Luxel Group.

EDF Renewables said it wants to accelerate development of its PV capabilities in France with its parent company having previously stated an ambition to capture 30% of its 2020-35 domestic solar market.

The potential buyer has 230 MW of French solar capacity and operates more than 100 solar and onshore wind plants with around 1.8 GW total capacity on home soil. Luxel Group’s portfolio includes 90 MW of its own capacity plus 130 MW it operates for third parties with another 900 MW under development.

EDF has entered exclusive negotiations with Luxel Group shareholders about acquiring the business.

“The acquisition of Luxel, a renowned independent specialist in France’s solar energy segment, represents a very good growth opportunity for EDF,” said Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group’s senior executive VP for renewable energies and chief executive of EDF Renewables. “Bringing the two companies and their teams together will allow us to accelerate our development in solar energy in the country.”

Ambitious solar plans

Three weeks ago, the French government published the outline of a new energy strategy under which the nuclear-dependent nation would commit to 17.2 GW of solar up to 2025. As part of a plan to reach 44.5 GW of solar by 2028 – part of a 113 GW renewables ambition – France would tender for 2.7 GW of solar this year and a further 2.9 GW annually up to 2025.

“In 2028, the cost of rooftop PV could be around €60/MWh while that of ground-mounted solar [could be] around €40/MWh,” the ‘programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie’ plan stated. In the latest tenders held by the French government, the average price of ground-mounted solar was €55/MWh, with rooftop projects posting an average €85/MWh.

The French strategy envisages solar reaching an installed capacity of 20 GW by 2024 – with 11.6 GW of it ground-mounted plus 9 GW of rooftops – and between 35.6 GW, in the worst-case scenario, and 44.5 GW by the end of 2029.