China’s nuclear giant grabs majority stake in UK wind farms

China’s nuclear giant grabs majority stake in UK wind farms

Wind turbines farm on the hills in Wales, UK.  (Copyright: eldo|Shutterstock.com)

State-owned China General Nuclear Power (CGN) is acquiring an 80% stake in three UK wind farms from French utility Electricite de France (EDF), in a deal worth about $157 million.

The deal marks CGN's first big acquisition of onshore wind generating capacity in the west and, according to the Chinese group, it will be the "beginning of concrete co-operation between CGN and EDF in Europe,” Recharge News reported.

The move, analysts agree, may help the talks involved in construction of the Hinkley Point nuclear project, which EDF plans to build by 2023.

It also highlights China’s efforts to shift most of its power generation away from coal to cleaner types of fuel and how the country is working on building a solid stake in foreign markets for these energy sources.

CNG, China’s largest nuclear firm, currently generates 55% of the country output from 11 plants.

Like many other nations, China put a moratorium on new plants after the 2010-Fukushima’s disaster. Now, the country’s ruling Sate Councils is aiming for a major expansion of nuclear power along the country’s coast to triple capacity by 2020.