Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft acquired the U.Ok.-based PV developer Solarcentury this week. The transfer offers the hydropower large a photo voltaic increase and, for Solarcentury, makes the duty of delivering its substantial pipeline a bit simpler.
The £118 million ($152 million) deal offers Statkraft entry to a 5-gigawatt pipeline of PV initiatives in Europe and simply over 1 GW in South America. Solarcentury has developed 1.2 GW of utility-scale initiatives since 2013. The 300 MW Talayuela photo voltaic plant, in development in Spain, will add considerably to that quantity. Solarcentury just lately acquired 284 MW of initiatives in Greece to enhance main initiatives in Netherlands, France and the U.Ok.
With financing these initiatives made easier, and a few economies of scale on provide, Solarcentury can count on to construct the subsequent 1.2 GW somewhat quicker.
“This deal offers us extra sources to look into extra alternatives and extra prospects to seek out the best ones that we would like to accumulate,” Barbara Flesche, deputy CEO at Solarcentury, stated in an interview with GTM.
With talks nonetheless underway on how the 2 corporations will probably be built-in, particulars on how and the place this expedited development will come have not but emerged. That stated, sure fundamentals level in direction of accelerating development.
“In case you have a powerful shareholder who will primarily finance on stability sheet, that permits us to begin the execution with out structuring complicated venture finance autos,” stated Flesche. “When you contemplate the final initiatives in Spain, getting 200-megawatt and 300-megawatt initiatives financed requires some work to get the whole lot in place and exterior finance companions.”
Flesche additionally couldn’t rule out the potential of Stakraft turning into the offtaker for some initiatives developed by Solarcentury, although she identified that that call finally lay with Statkraft.
Solarcentury has a number of quirks that stand out amongst its fellow builders. It began out as a business and industrual developer and likewise constructed a residential photo voltaic enterprise, partially by a collaboration with furnishings retailer Ikea in Germany, the Netherlands and the U.Ok. The residential enterprise was offered to Svea Photo voltaic, Sweden’s largest residential photo voltaic agency in March of this 12 months for an undisclosed charge.
The corporate additionally donates 5 p.c of its earnings to Photo voltaic Assist, a charity established by the developer’s founder Jeremy Leggett, a former oil government turned local weather activist, writer and entrepreneur. Solarcentury has been on the lookout for a purchaser for a minimum of 18 months because it determined in opposition to an IPO. Flesche stated Statkraft is an efficient “cultural match” for Solarcentury and that the agency’s identify will probably be retained in some type.
In Southern Europe, not all initiatives are created equal
Statkraft claims to be the biggest generator of renewable energy in Europe, courtesy of its substantial hydropower capability. It has round 20 GW of complete energy capability with 15 GW of that hydro in its house market.
Statkraft is aiming to develop “a minimum of” eight GW of wind and photo voltaic by 2025, with 2 GW of photo voltaic and 6 GW of wind. It has greater than 400 MW of wind initiatives in development and has just lately taken the ultimate funding choice on the 519 MW Ventos de Santa Eugenia.
“This acquisition is in step with our technique to ramp up as a wind and photo voltaic developer and turn out to be one of many main renewable power corporations globally,” stated Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft in a press release.
“Identical to hydropower and solar energy complement one another, Statkraft and Solarcentury are a wonderful match by way of objective and folks. Becoming a member of forces will speed up our development and proceed to drive the power transition ahead,” added Rynning-Tønnesen.
Brian Gaylord, principal analyst with Wooden Mackenzie for Latin America and Southern Europe, pointed out that megawatts contributing to a European pipeline might maintain very completely different values.
“A number of the worth of the event pipeline in these markets will probably be how shovel-ready it’s. There’s a particular alternative right here, significantly in Italy and Greece as there was some vital under-subscription points at latest auctions,” Gaylord advised GTM in an e-mail.
In Spain, the place he famous that Statkraft had already been recruiting a growth crew, the worth is linked to the phrases of land leases. With a backlog of speculative initiatives within the grid connection queue, builders are topic to a “land hypothesis bubble,” he stated, which implies these initiatives with land leases agreed previous to that hypothesis maintain better worth.
With a giant stability sheet to work with, along with its personal credentials constructed up over greater than 20 years, Solarcentury’s footprint, in Europe specifically, might ship a serious chunk of Statkraft’s renewable ambitions.