The 50:50 partnership is aimed to invest around EUR550m into the two plants, which will start operation in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The solar facilities is expected to produce enough power to supply 52,000 homes and avoid the emission equivalent to 63,000 tonnes of CO2.

However, the participation of E.ON in the projects is still subject to the EU Commission approval under merger control.

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, said: “Having E.ON on as a partner in these projects will allow us to continue growing at the speed we want and to improve our capabilities in areas where E.ON has extensive experience”.

Frank Mastiaux, CEO of E.ON Climate & Renewables, said: “Solar Power will be the next strong pillar in E.ON’s renewables portfolio. Our entry into CSP complements our recent moves into the photovoltaic business and we will now stand on two feet in solar in the future. I am also delighted to be working with Abengoa. We have found an experienced partner with whom we want to drive CSP to new levels of performance.”

The plants in Ecija will utilize Parabolic Trough technology, a solution developed in the 1980s that Abengoa Solar has in recent years tested and enhanced at the Solucar Platform plants in Sanlucar la Mayor, Seville.

E.ON is investing EUR8 billion in renewable generation and climate protection projects between 2007-2011. The company currently has over 2.8GW of renewable capacity in operation.

Both companies are founding members of the Desertec Industrial Initiative to develop secure renewable energy production in the desert regions of the Middle East and Northern Africa.