Italian oil major Eni is widening its green energy expansion by building up on a cooperation with Falck Renewables announced earlier to boost a joint wind and solar portfolio in the US.

The two companies through Novis Renewables Holdings, in which Eni owns 49% and Falck 51%, have signed an agreement with Italian energy firm Building Energy to buy its US unit Building Energy Holdings (BEHUS) for $32.5m. The holding company operates 62MW in wind and solar projects in the US, has an up to 160MW wind project pipeline, and a development and asset management team.

“For Eni, the acquisition of BEHUS is another step forward in our decarbonisation strategy, that is increasingly driving our company towards the development and production of energy from renewable sources,” said Massimo Mondazzi, general manager of Eni’s business group Energy Evolution.

“In Eni, we have set very clear targets for our activities, as we intend to reach 3GW by 2023 and over 15GW of installed capacity by 2030. Our emission targets are equally well defined, with an 80% cut in all our direct and indirect emissions by 2050.”

Oil majors amid a recent collapse of oil and gas prices, as well as mounting pressure from climate activists, governments and investors are accelerating their spending in renewable energy assets with the aim to speed up their own internal energy transition.

The deal announced today comes after Eni late last year had said it will buy 49% of the operating solar assets of Falck Renewables in the US, and had signed a strategic agreement to develop a further at least 1GW of solar plants in the US by the end of 2023.

More deals are likely to come going forward, according to statements by Falck Renewables chief executive Toni Volpe.

“BEHUS is the inaugural transaction of the strategic partnership with Eni that closed in March 2020 and fits squarely into our joint business plan contributing to the sustainable growth targets of both partners,” Volpe said.

“We are also adding onshore wind both in operations and development to our portfolio in the USA strengthening our development and operations team.”