OSLO, July 18 (Reuters) - Norway's Statkraft signed a five-year agreement on Thursday to buy 330 gigawatt hours of electricity from a 50-megawatt solar park that Swiss power producer Aventron will build in Spain by mid-2020.
The solar park, called Bargas, will be built in Toledo, some 80 km (50 miles) south of Madrid, and be operated without government subsidies, the firms said in a statement. Construction is scheduled to start in coming weeks.
For Aventron, the deal is a way to secure the project's financing as power purchase agreements are crucial for subsidy-free plants, chief operating officer Eric Wagner said.
"Τhis is a crucial element for the marketability of subsidy-free green electricity production," he said.
Operations at the plant are expected to start in July 2020.
Earlier on Thursday, Statkraft said its underlying operating profit (EBIT) for the second quarter of 2019 reached 2.6 billion crowns ($303 million), up from 1.4 billion a year earlier, due to higher power output and improved market operations.
For the first six months of 2019, underlying EBIT reached a record-high 9 billion crowns, up from 7.4 billion a year earlier. ($1 = 8.5928 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos; Editing by Dale Hudson)