Masdar acquires 50% stake in Big Beau project, expands US presence
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Abu Dhabi’s Masdar acquires stake in Big Beau project, expands US presence

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar acquires stake in Big Beau project, expands US presence

It is one of eight projects that Masdar and EDF Renewables have agreed to jointly partner in, with a combined capacity of 1.6 gigawatts

Divsha Bhat
Big Beau project

Masdar has further expanded its presence in the US’ renewables market after closing the acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in a combined solar and battery storage project from EDF Renewables North America, state news agency WAM has reported.

The Big Beau project

The Big Beau project, located in California, comprises a 128-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant and a 40 MW/160 MWh battery energy storage system. It is one of eight projects that Masdar and EDF Renewables have agreed to jointly partner in, with a combined capacity of 1.6 gigawatts.

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 president-designate and chairman of Masdar, said: “Big Beau project and the other projects that we are operating with EDF Renewables are already making an active contribution to US clean energy targets, highlighting the strength of the UAE-US relationship that the recent PACE announcement seeks to build on.

“If we are to keep the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees alive, we need to see countries coming together in concerted action – one of the key areas of focus for the upcoming COP28 in the UAE. Partnerships between companies like Masdar and EDF Renewables are also vital in ensuring we hold back emissions, not progress.”

Tristan Grimbert, president and chief executive officer of EDF Renewables North America, said: “EDF Renewables’ partnership with Masdar enjoys a successful history and today we celebrate another project to add to the growing portfolio.

“Decarbonisation of the energy sector will take the combined effort of developers, offtakers, and investors alike working in collaboration toward ambitious goals. We are grateful for our productive partnership with Masdar built on a foundation of progress.”

Masdar and EDF Renewables North America agreed in 2020 to jointly partner in the 1.6 GW portfolio, which includes three utility-scale wind projects in Nebraska and Texas totaling 815 MW, and five solar projects in California totaling 689 MW – two of which include battery energy storage systems representing 75 MW.

All of the projects are operational, and combined they are displacing more than three million tonnes of emissions per year.

In January, UAE and US officials announced that $20bn will be allocated to fund 15 GW of clean energy projects in the US before 2035, led by Masdar and a consortium of US private investors, under the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy between the two countries.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer, Masdar, said: “Masdar has a strong working relationship with EDF that originated in the Middle East and now extends across the globe, and we are pleased to further strengthen that relationship today. We are also committed to growing our activities in the US over the coming years and see it as an extremely important strategic market for Masdar.

“I look forward to growing our presence in the US as a developer and independent power producer, as part of our targeted global expansion of reaching at least 100 GW by the end of this decade.”

EDF Renewables, one of the largest renewable developers in North America, is committed to providing solutions to decarbonize the energy sector. With 35 years of experience, 16 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects developed, and 13 GW under operations and maintenance contracts, EDF Renewables provides integrated energy solutions from grid-scale power to electric vehicle charging.

Masdar recently announced a new shareholding structure and additional focus on green hydrogen, making it one of the largest clean energy companies of its kind.

With a goal of achieving 100 GW renewable energy capacity and green hydrogen production of one million tonnes per annum annually by 2030, the new Masdar is a clean energy powerhouse that will spearhead the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and drive the global energy transition.

Read: Masdar secures funding for three solar projects in Uzbekistan

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