Italian energy company ERG, through its subsidiary ERG Power Generation, has signed an agreement to acquire photovoltaic operator, ForVei, from VEI Green for €336m.

ForVei is a joint venture between VEI Green, an investment holding company controlled by PFH, and Foresight formed in 2011.

The firm owns and manages 30 photovoltaic plants located across Northern and Southern Italy with a combined capacity of 89MW.

ERG said that the solar power plants, which have a combined annual output of around 136GWh, are eligible for incentives, with an average expiry date of 2030.

ERG CEO Luca Bettonte said: “Acquisition  of  this  important  89MW photovoltaic  platform  marks  ERG’s  entry  into  the  solar  energy  sector  and  constitutes  a  further significant piece of our technological diversification strategy.

“The notable size of the transaction will immediately enable us to enlarge and optimize our Energy Management portfolio, with high quality facilities geographically well located also in the market area of Northern Italy, and to capitalize on our industrial skills in asset management.”

The firm noted that the solar assets which are being acquired from ForVei are currently funded through non-recourse project financing for approximately €180m.

Scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2018, the deal is subject to antitrust approval and acceptance on the part of the lending institutions.

Bettonte added: “Moreover, ERG’s entry into the Italian photovoltaic sector is taking place in the presence of a still very fragmented market scenario that could offer additional possibilities for consolidation, allowing us to gain the know-how necessary to take part in the cross-border development of a strongly expanding sector.”

Image: ERG intends to acquire solar power assets in Italy. Photo: courtesy of ERG SpA.