German alternative asset manager Aquila Capital has agreed to acquire Norwegian small-scale hydropower plants operator Småkraft for an undisclosed amount.

The deal covers Småkraft’s portfolio of 45 operating plants with a total generating capacity of over 500GWh every year.

With this investment, Aquila Capital will have an expanded hydropower platform and a strong presence in small-scale hydropower in Norway.

Aquila Capital hydropower co-head Oldrik Verloop said: "Since 2009, we have acquired over 100 hydro plants in Europe, giving us an edge in sourcing and securing hydropower opportunities for our institutional investors.

"As our investors aim to bring long term capital to support the expansion of renewables in the energy mix, the acquisition of Småkraft AS will consolidate our operations in Norway. It will make us the largest operator of small-scale hydropower plants in Europe."

The company currently owns 100% of Norsk Grønnkraft, 36% in Tinfos and 33% in Jørpeland Kraft.

Småkraft is owned by four Norwegian utility companies including Statkraft (40%), Agder Energi (20%), BKK (20%) and Skagerak Energi (20%).

Statkraft representative and current chairman of the board Haakon Alfstad said: "Aquila Capital’s acquisition of Småkraft AS will ensure the continued growth of small scale hydro production in Norway.

"The landowners’ long term ownership to the waterfall resources and all commercial agreements between Småkraft AS and the land owners will remain unchanged under the new ownership. We expect the transaction to be completed by the end of the year."