Acciona and Plug Power form hydrogen power JV for Spain and Portugal

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Spanish renewable energy producer Acciona is setting up a joint venture with U.S. fuel-cell specialist Plug Power to develop and operate green hydrogen projects across Spain and Portugal, the two companies said on Tuesday.

Under a preliminary agreement, the companies plan to invest 2 billion euros ($2.42 billion) in the 50-50 venture, which will be based in Madrid.

They aim to gain a 20% share of Spain and Portugal’s green hydrogen market by 2030.

Shares in Plug Power rose 3.5% in pre-market trading after the joint venture announcement. Acciona shares were up 1.6%, against a 0.4% decline in Spain’s IBEX-35 index.

Plug Power Chief Executive Andy Marsh said the agreement was an “important milestone” in their strategy to get a “strong presence in the fast-growing European hydrogen economy”.

Last month the U.S. hydrogen specialist agreed to team up with French carmaker Renault to develop hydrogen-powered vans.

Santander acted as Plug Power’s sole financial adviser on the Acciona deal. ($1 = 0.8248 euros) (Reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by Nathan Allen and Susan Fenton)