Italian oil group Eni has bought 49% of the operating solar assets of Falck Renewables in the US, and has signed a strategic agreement to develop a further at least 1GW of solar plants in the US by the end of 2023.

“For Eni, the agreement with Falck Renewables opens up a new, low-risk and highly fluid market in which we are aiming to grow very quickly,” said Luca Cosentino, executive vice president of Energy Solutions at Eni.

“This partnership will benefit from the knowledge and renowned experience of Falck Renewables, enabling Eni to accelerate its plans to increase its renewable energy capacity and laying the foundations for achieving our decarbonisation objectives.”

The oil firm, which according to Reuters currently produces 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, is trying to establish renewables as another business pillar on a worldwide basis, targeting to install 1.6GW of new solar, wind and storage capacity by 2022, and 5GW by 2025.

In September, Eni had signed a deal with Mainstream Renewable Power to develop large-scale plants around the world, including massive UK offshore wind projects.

Eni and Falck Renewables North America (FRNA) as part of their deal will have various options to acquire projects from the venture, either consolidated line-by-line by Eni’s US unit (100%) or by FRNA (100% or with a minority 49% stake for Eni).

Eni will pay Falck about $70m for the share in five operating solar farms, and a solar panel stock valued at approximately $12.7m. Closing is subject to certain conditions precedent and is expected by the first quarter of 2020.