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    Eni Moves into Spanish Solar


The Italian company has added to its Spanish upstream and sales businesses in the past few months.

by: William Powell

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Eni Moves into Spanish Solar

Italian energy producer Eni has bought three photovoltaic projects in southern Spain from X-Elio totalling 140 MW it said February 18, without disclosing the price.

The move is the latest in Eni's series of initiatives to grow its upstream and retail customer base in Spain, an energy island that relies heavily on LNG.

The transfer will be subject to the usual approvals and should take place in the second half of the year. Eni will build the plants and for selling the electricity.

Eni and X-Elio, a global solar developer, are also discussing a larger strategic co-operation with renewable projects in Spain, where Eni is aiming to grow up to 1 GW in the next five years contributing to its 5GW installed capacity from renewable sources target for 2025.

Eni is also about to finalise the agreements for the amicable settlement of the disputes with Spanish retailer Naturgy relating to their dissolved 50-50 LNG trading joint venture Union Fenosa Gas. After that, Eni will directly begin marketing gas in Spain to the industrial and thermoelectric sectors and to wholesalers, in competition with Spanish Naturgy.

This follows Eni's agreement with Grupo Pitma for 100% of Aldro Energía Y Soluciones, that operates in Spain and Portugal selling electricity, gas and services to household customers as well as large, medium and small businesses.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said the initiative "greatly reinforces Eni’s presence in the Spanish market with a remarkable investment in the renewable energy sector, and it complements the existing businesses already established in the region. The development of photovoltaic projects is consistent with our strategy in support of the energy transition and is a key element of Eni’s commitment in reducing CO2 emissions. Furthermore, this acquisition allows for the future deployment of existing synergies with the power & gas retail business.”

X-Elio has a "significant presence in Spain, where it has developed and built more than 1 GW. The firm has 250 MW under construction in the country, over 650 MW through power purchase agreements and over 1.5 GW under development," says Eni.