Enel has clinched a deal to buy Erelis, a French wind power developer, for E14.2 million.

The deal marks Enel’s debut in the French wind power sector, which in total comprises 920MW of installed capacity.

Erelis, which is based in Lyon, was established in 2002. Projects under development amount to about 500MW of power, of which 14MW will be operational in 2007, 96MW are at an intermediate or advanced stage and 290MW at the initial development stage. Erelis is also developing about 110MW for third parties, Enel says.

The Italian group hopes the acquisition will enable Enel to become a significant player in the French wind market in the period from 2007 to 2010 and to create an excellent platform for future growth in that country.

Enel’s move comes just days after Spain’s Iberdrola bought Rennes-based wind power player Perfect Wind.