UAE’s state-owned renewable energy company Masdar has closed the acquisition of a 50% stake in the Big Beau project, a combined solar and battery storage project in California, US.

Masdar purchased the stake from EDF Renewables North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the French utility EDF Group, focused on renewable energy production.

The US renewable project comprises a 128MWac photovoltaic (PV) solar plant and a 40MW/160MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

The Big Beau project is among the eight projects, with a combined capacity of 1.6GW, being jointly developed under the partnership of Masdar and EDF Renewables.

The acquisition would further expand its presence in the US renewables market, said Masdar.

UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Masdar chairman Sultan Al Jaber said: “Big Beau 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.”

In 2020, Masdar and EDF Renewables North America have agreed to jointly partner in the development of a 1.6GW portfolio of renewable projects.

The portfolio includes three utility-scale wind projects in Nebraska and Texas, totalling 815MW and five solar projects in California, with a combined capacity of 689MW.

Two of the five solar projects will include battery energy storage systems totalling 75MW.

In January this year, UAE and US announced a $20bn funding, led by Masdar and a consortium of US private investors, to develop 15GW of clean energy projects in the US, by 2035.

The funding will be provided under the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE) between the two countries.

EDF Renewables North America president and chief executive officer Tristan Grimbert 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, off-takers, and investors alike working in collaboration toward ambitious goals.”

Masdar chief executive officer Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi 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.”