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Canadian oil and gas company Enbridge has agreed to set up a joint venture (JV) with EDF Renewables North America to construct and operate the 577MW Fox Squirrel solar farm in Ohio, US.

Enbridge has entered a definitive deal for a 50% stake in the JV.

Located in Madison County, Ohio, the solar plant is being built in three phases.

The first phase is expected to begin operations by the end of 2023, and the remaining phases by the end of 2024.

Enbridge will invest $149m (C$204m) in phase one, which will generate 150MW.

It will make a final investment decision on the remaining phases in 2024.

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By GlobalData

The project is supported by 20-year fixed-price power purchase agreements.

EDF Renewables grid-scale power executive vice-president Ryan Pfaff stated: “EDF Renewables is thrilled to continue our successful partnership with Enbridge through the Fox Squirrel Solar Project, our first utility-scale solar facility in Ohio.

“Solar energy plays a key role in decarbonising the PJM [Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland] grid in a safe, reliable and affordable manner. We look forward to completing Fox Squirrel Solar and supporting this transition.”

Enbridge corporate strategy executive vice-president and power president Matthew Akman stated: “This partnership expands Enbridge’s strategic relationship with EDF Renewables while driving accretive renewables growth in North America. Fox Squirrel solar project will benefit the surrounding communities by adding local jobs, generating additional tax revenues for Madison County and will ultimately power approximately 118,000 Ohio homes with renewable energy.

“The project is expected to be immediately accretive to DCF [discounted cash flow] per share and will be complementary to both our growth outlook and energy transition leadership.”

EDF Renewables is developing the Fox Squirrel solar plant in collaboration with Geenex Solar, from which it purchased the project in October 2020.