EDF Energy Renewables announced plans to sell its majority stake in five wind farms across Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire for £98m in order to release equity to invest in developing further renewable projects elsewhere in the UK.
However, while selling its majority stake to clean energy investor Greencoat UK Wind PLC, the UK renewables arm of the French utility giant said it would keep a 20 per cent stake in the projects and continue to operate and provide maintenance for the wind farms.
EDF Energy will also continue to purchase all of the electricity generated at the sites, while operational and community benefit fund arrangements will remain unchanged, the firm said.
The five wind farms covered by the transaction are Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire – 16.4MW, Red House, Lincolnshire – 12.3MW, Glass Moor, Cambridgeshire – 16.4MW, Red Tile, Cambridgeshire – 24.6MW, Bicker Fen, Lincolnshire – 26.6MW.
Matthieu Hue, CEO of EDF Energy Renewables, said the move formed part of EDF Group’s wider CAP 2030 renewable energy development strategy, with the UK seen as a major strategic market for the company.
“We have built close ties with the communities around these sites and we know they value industry partners they can work with over the long term,” said Hue in a statement. “That’s why it is important to us to continue to run the wind farms and maintain local relationships.
“We have an ambitious development portfolio, which will help us deliver the low carbon electricity the country needs,” he added. “This sale helps to support our ambitions and our delivery of new projects around the UK.”
Across the UK, the company already operates more than 696MW of wind farms, has more than 260MW under construction and has more than 454MW consented, 170MW in planning and 950MW in development.
Tim Ingram, chairman of Greencoat UK Wind, said the firm would take an 80 per cent stake in the wind farms, which comprise 47 turbines: “Following on from our recent further share issue, we are pleased to acquire assets from a tenth seller, a third major utility partnership, demonstrating UKW’s reach across the market in finding value for investorsm,” he said in a statement.
The news comes as Shell today announced it had completed the sale of several UK North Sea assets as well as its entire Gabon onshore oil and gas interests.
The oil major has sold a package of UK North Sea assets to Chrysaor for a total of up to $3.8bn, although it said it retains “a significant, more focused and strengthened presence in the UK North Sea, to which it remains committed”.
Meanwhile, Shell has sold its entire oil and gas interests off the coast of Gabon in West Africa – which in 2016 produced the equivalent of 41,000 barrels of oil per day – to Assala Energy Holdings Ltd for a total of $628m.
The company said the completion of the Gabon deal showed “the clear momentum behind Shell’s $30bn divestment programme and is in line with Shell’s drive to simplify the upstream portfolio and re-shape the company into a world class investment”.