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GE, KGAL Invest $158 Million in Spanish Solar Thermal Plant

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. and the German fund KGAL GmbH & Co KG. invested 111.1 million euros ($158 million) in a Spanish solar thermal plant operated by Actividades de Construccion & Servicios SA, Spain’s second-largest contractor.

The companies acquired a 93 percent stake in a 50-megawatt parabolic trough power plant in Torre de Miguel Sesmero, Badajoz, they said in a joint statement today. The plant, named Extresol II, has operated since December 2010 and generates enough electricity for 37,900 average homes.

This is the third solar thermal project sold by Madrid-based ACS since it announced a plan in November to dispose of all its renewable assets, including 349 megawatts in this technology. The company sold its stakes in two plants in July to Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA funds. Four remain on sale.

Most solar thermal plants in Spain, the world’s biggest market by installed capacity, involve mirrors that concentrate sunlight to run steam turbines. Japanese and German companies such as Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and EON AG have bought stakes in more than half of the 17 similar plants that operate in Spain in less than two years.

A further 26 projects are being built driven by incentives fixed for 25 years, according to the lobby group Protermosolar.

The deal for Extresol II, which shares the location with two sister projects, is KGAL’s first acquisition of a solar thermal plant and the first by GE Financial Services’ including storage. The plant can store heat from the sun in molten salts to generate power seven hours after sunset.

KGAL is interested in buying stakes in other solar thermal, wind and photovoltaic operating projects in the country, fund spokeswoman Agathe Huber said today by e-mail. The company has bought 13 Spanish photovoltaic plants with 77 megawatts in capacity this year in a series of deals.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marc Roca in London at mroca6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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