Forging German renewables champ, EWE takes next step in overhaul

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Jan 7 (Reuters) - German utility EWE will favour expansion over payouts in its planned wind power joint venture with the owners of turbine maker Enercon, its chief executive said.

Both parties signed an agreement just before Christmas to form Germany’s largest operator of onshore wind parks, a direct challenger to larger utilities RWE and EnBW as well as renewable firms wpd and Energiekontor.

The joint venture, which is expected to get antitrust approval in the next 2-3 months, plans to invest about 4 billion euros ($4.9 billion) by 2030 to more than double onshore wind power to as much as 5 gigawatts (GW).

“Most of the planned investments will be funded through cash flow,” Stefan Dohler told Reuters. “Most of the profits will likely be spent on expansion, so payouts will be kept moderate.”

($1 = 0.8150 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Tom Kaeckenhoff and Vera Eckert; editing by Thomas Seythal