RWE to build 37 MW solar park in Britain in renewable push

Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:29am EDT

* To supply about 10,000 households with electricity

* Park expected to come online in late summer

* RWE to sell park to Foresight Solar Fund Limited

FRANKFURT, April 23 (Reuters) - German utility RWE is planning a 37 megawatt (MW) solar park in Britain, it said on Wednesday, expanding its presence in renewable energy, which some analysts say has been neglected by the group.

The Kencot Hill Solar Firm - located on a disused airfield in Oxfordshire, England - is expected to come online in late summer 2014 and will power about 10,000 households with electricity, RWE said.

RWE, which will provide financing and technical support, has appointed solar group Conergy to build the park. Upon completion, the park will sold to Foresight Solar Fund Limited , managed by UK-based infrastructure asset manager Foresight Group.

"Utilising our project development, procurement and structuring skills, including expertise from RWE Innogy, we will deliver to Foresight a substantial, fully commissioned and ROC accredited solar PV park," said Stefan Judisch, head of RWE Supply & Trading.

No financial details were disclosed.

Renewables accounted for just 3 percent of RWE's profits last year, with Chief Executive Peter Terium admitting last month the company was too late in entering the business, which has fundamentally changed the utility sector.

Facing plunging profits, utilities including RWE and larger peer E.ON are now trying to expand their renewable portfolios, a challenging task since wind and solar power still need subsidies to be competitive. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Mark Potter)

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