The North American unit of EDF Renewables has closed an agreement to buy an up to 4.5GW pipeline of solar developments throughout the area of the PJM transmission system in the US from utility-scale developer Geenex.

The PJM area covers 13 states of the US North-East, Mid-West and South, as well as the District of Columbia.

The transaction will accelerate EDFR’s growth in the area to meet the growing demands of corporate and utility customers seeking cost-effective renewable energy sources, the US unit of the French utility said.

“Having an industry leader such as EDFR recognize the strength and value of Geenex-developed projects is quite a testimony to the hard work of the Geenex Solar team,” Geenex chief executive Georg Veit said.

“Our regional approach has enabled us to build a competitive development pipeline of over 20 projects in the PJM market. We are excited by the opportunity to build out this solar pipeline with a development partner such as EDFR. They share our vision on local engagement and long-term commitment to projects that will provide valuable economic benefits for our landowners and our communities.”

Still mainly nuclear power-focused EDF (Électricité de France) as part of its Cap 2030 strategy plans to near double its operational renewable energy net capacity from 28GW to 50GW between 2015 and 2030 worldwide.

EDFR expects first projects from the US PJM pipeline to enter operation in 2023.

EDFR already had worked with Geenex in the development and construction of the Pecan and Gutenberg solar projects in 2015.

“We were initially impressed with the team’s development expertise and distinguished high quality of solar assets,” said Hanson Wood, vice president, strategic development initiatives at EDFR.

“Their regional approach is particularly attractive as they enter markets early and foster strong and deep relationships with the local community,” he said, adding that Geenex is the largest holder of development assets in the PJM market.