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Enbridge to acquire half-interest in French offshore wind farm developer

Enbridge Inc.has signed a deal to buy a 50% stake in offshore wind energy developer Eolien MaritimeFrance SAS for C$282 million. The remaining interest in Eolien Maritime is heldby Electricité de France SAsubsidiary EdF Energies Nouvelles,and the two companies will jointly develop projects.

The investment includes transaction costs and past and futurepre-final investment decision development costs, according to a May 10 statement.The initial investment in Eolien Maritime was included in Enbridge's previous securedgrowth program and will be financed from available liquidity. The companywill not need any additional equity financing.

"[The] investment in [Eolien Maritime] advances our priorityto build new business platforms that will extend and diversify growth," EnbridgePresident and CEO Al Monaco said in the statement.

Under the deal, the co-owners will construct three large-scaleoffshore wind farms off the coast of France with a combined capacity of 1,428 MW.The projects are the 498-MW Eoliennes Offshore des Hautes Falaises offshore windfarm, 450-MW Eoliennes Offshore du Calvados facility and 480-MW Parc du Banc deGuerande project. Each of the facilities, which are already being developed, willsell its output to Electricité de France for 20 years at a fixed price, the statementsaid.

Bids for construction contracts related to the facilities havebeen received. Construction of the offshore wind facilities is subject to finalinvestment decision and other regulatory approvals. Assuming decisions to go ahead,construction would begin in 2017 and continue through 2022.

Enbridge is expected to invest up to C$4.5 billion in the powerplants, if all three are pursued.

Additional equity and debt required for the power plants willbe financed after the final investment decisions are made. Eolien Maritime is pursuingnonrecourse project financing for the debt component of the investment.

Enbridge has stake in 24 renewable projects with a net operatingcapacity of about 2,000 MW. The company has invested approximately C$5 billion inrenewable power generation and transmission during the last 10 years.

Electricité de France is a subsidiary of EDF Group.