* EDF EN sees 10 pct synergy savings in Futuren acquisition
* EDF EN keen to enter fragmented German wind market
* Repowering old parks twice as fast as greenfield sites
By Geert De Clercq
PARIS, April 25 EDF Energies Nouvelles is
looking to "repower" old wind parks and get into the German
market through its planned 320 million euro ($350 million)
acquisition of French wind developer Futuren,, EDF EN
chief Jerome Cahuzac said on Tuesday.
EDF renewable energy unit EDF EN has agreed to buy
67 percent of Futuren from a group of investment funds and wants
to launch a bid for 100 percent by year-end in a deal that could
value Futuren at 315 to 320 million euros, Cahuzac said.
Futuren - called Theolia before financial difficulties
forced it into a restructuring - has 50 megawatts (MW) of ageing
turbines in Morocco which will have to be repowered with new
machines in the next 12-18 months and 140 MW in Germany that
will have to be repowered in 3-4 years.
EDF expects synergies on spare parts purchasing, insurance,
engineering and finance will add up to 20-30 million euros, or
about 10 percent of the Futuren acquisition price.
"Repowering is a key issue for us and for all wind
developers in Europe," Cahuzac told reporters.
He said that since the first wind parks were installed in
the windiest sites, repowering is a good option as the sites are
already grid-connected and face less public resistance.
Futuren has net installed wind capacity of 330 MW in
Germany, France, Morocco and Italy, 357 MW under management in
Germany and development projects totalling just over 400 MW.
Repowering typically takes about half the time of greenfield
development, which is six to seven years in France, twice as
long as in Germany.
"Germany is an important country for us, precisely because
of the repowering market there," he said.
Germany - which has seven times more wind turbines per
square kilometre than France - has lots of ageing parks whose
subsidies will expire in coming years.
Cahuzac said the German market is more challenging for
smaller players since the country replaced feed-in tariffs with
market prices plus a premium, and he expects a wave of
consolidation in the highly fragmented wind market there.
"We look at all possible acquisitions in Germany, especially
at companies that have major development projects," he said.
EDF EN has virtually no presence in Germany at the moment
and employs only a few people there. Futuren has staff of 30 in
Germany and 45 in France.
End 2016, EDF EN had 3,108 employees and installed capacity
of 9,614 MW, of which 88 percent wind and 9 percent solar. The
Futuren deal would boost EDF EN's French wind market share to
nearly 12 percent from 10 percent.
($1 = 0.9147 euros)
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans)