Tokyo Gas buys 50% stake in Engie’s Mexican renewable energy unit

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Japan’s largest gas company, Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd, has announced U.S. unit Tokyo Gas Renewable 1 LLC has agreed to acquire a 50% interest in Heolios EnTG, the Mexican renewable energy arm of French utility Engie. The financial terms of the transaction were not revealed.

EnTG has a portfolio of six renewable energy projects under development in Mexico with a combined capacity of 898.7 MW – four solar plants totaling 746.1 MW of capacity and two wind projects amounting to 152.6 MW.

All the projects secured 15-year power purchase agreements through Mexican power auctions, Tokyo Gas and Heolios EnTG said.

The solar assets are expected to come online by the end of next year, with at least one due to be up and running this year. A 158.6 MW facility is being constructed in Trompezon, in the state of Aguascalientes and a 199.8 MW solar park is planned in Villa Ahumda, in Chihuahua state. Abril, in the state of Sonora, will host a 134.2 MW facility and Calpulapan, in Tlaxcala, will host the largest of the PV projects, with a planned capacity of 253.5 MW.

Gas company expands RE commitment

The new joint venture was approved by Mexican federal competition commission COFECE at the end of March. “Through Heolios EnTG, Tokyo Gas and Engie will support Mexico’s clean energy ambitions and boost the development of their renewable energy business in the country,” the companies announced.

Tokyo Gas launched a solar development venture in February 2017. A year later it strengthened its commitment to renewable energy through two deals: the acquisition of a 4.8 MW solar plant in Kyoto prefecture that had begun commercial operation in August 2015; and the creation of joint venture with Exergy Power Systems Inc, a spin-off from the University of Tokyo that develops storage systems based on hydrogen cell technology.

Both transactions were part of a strategy to acquire renewable energy generation assets with a combined capacity of 1 GW – 400 MW in Japan and the rest overseas.