Franco-Irish solar energy company Amarenco, whose executive chairman is former Bord Gáis boss John Mullins, is buying two solar parks in France for an enterprise value of 31 million euros.
marenco acquires the assets of the French renewable energy company Neoen.
The solar farms are located in the south of France, in Grabels and in the region of Lagarde Vaucluse. The first started operating in 2015 and the second in 2018.
They have power purchase contracts until 2035 and 2036 respectively.
“The sale has sparked the interest of a number of financial investors and industry participants, demonstrating the strong appeal of the renewable assets developed and built by Neoen,” said Xavier Barbaro, CEO and President of Neoen.
The acquisitions of Amarenco, headquartered in Cork, strengthen its already strong presence in France.
At the end of last year, Amarenco also agreed to purchase a 50 megawatt (MW) solar farm in Spain that was due to go into service in January of this year, while it also acquired 148 MW of projects in the Portugal.
The company has a total of 700 MW of assets under construction or in operation in countries including Ireland. It has a total of five gigawatts of projects in development.
Last November, Amarenco secured € 150 million in support from investors, including pan-European asset manager Tikehau Capital, to finance its expansion. The new support includes a capital increase and an equity line.
It was also supported by the founders of the solar company and IDIA Capital Investissement.
Last April, IDIA Capital Investissement and three private equity groups belonging to the Crédit Agricole group took a € 15 million stake in Amarenco.
In 2020, an Amarenco joint venture is involved with a unit of the French energy giant Total obtained a revolving credit line of 40 million euros to extend its work on the deployment of solar panels on buildings.
Mr Mullins told the Independent Irish in an interview last year, he expects Amarenco to have 30 gigawatts of projects operational by 2030 and 50 gigawatts by 2050.
Mr Mullins said at the time that if France dominated Amarenco’s balance sheet, it would be “considerably” reduced in the near future. Iberia will be the company’s largest market within 15 months, he said at the time.
Of the 3 GW of projects that Amarenco plans to have operational by 2023, the distribution is expected to be roughly even between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The company has operational hubs in Lagrave in France, Porto in Portugal, Vienna, Muscat in Oman, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok, Hanoi and Tokyo.
Amarenco successfully launched 40 MW of solar projects in Ireland’s first Renewable Energy Support (RESS) auction last year.
The RESS guarantees renewable energy projects the price of the electricity they produce.