German utility RWE is hoping to cement a foothold in the solar industry after buying a minority stake in solar power group Conergy.

The size of the stake has not been disclosed but Hamburg-headquartered Conergy said RWE had made the single biggest investment in a $45m funding round.RWE buys Conergy stake

Andree Stracke, board member of RWE Supply & Trading, said: “Having worked with Conergy successfully in Europe, we are pleased to be supporting the group’s worldwide expansion.”

The investment follows the partnering between RWE and Conergy on commercial PV solar rentals which targets business customers of RWE, initially in Germany, and the finance, construction and sale Kencot Hill solar farm in the UK.

Conergy chief executive Andrew de Pass said: “We are pleased to have RWE’s financial backing and endorsement of Conergy. We look forward to using this capital to develop more projects with new and existing partners in the solar industry. With this important stamp of approval, it is clear that the turnaround of Conergy is complete and our growth trajectory is certain.”