Press release from Jan 23, 2019

innogy and BELECTRIC are building Spanish 50 MW solar project without state subsidies

Press release from innogy SE

  • Planned capacity of around 50 megawatts

  • Total investment volume around €40 million

  • Start of construction and commissioning planned for 2019

  • innogy benefits from BELECTRIC’s experience in constructing and operating utility-scale solar power plants

Essen, 22 January 2019 innogy SE is making good progress in building up its value accretive solar business. Having recently started construction on a major large-scale solar farm in Australia, the company has now taken the final investment decision (FID) for a solar farm in Spain. The ‘Alarcos’ project is set to have a capacity of about 50 megawatts and will be operated without state subsidies. Both the beginning of construction and full commissioning of the photovoltaic plant are planned this year.

Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables of innogy SE, explains: “We are showing by means of the Alarcos project that new renewable energy sources are possible without the aid of subsidies. We are relying on long-term power purchase agreement contracts for this project. This is not only possible in sunny Spain, but also in many other markets solar energy is competitive. Decreasing prices for the equipment will continue to spur on this development.”

Thorsten Blanke, Head of Solar at innogy SE, adds: “Thanks to very good solar radiation levels and high demand for renewable energy, the Iberian Peninsula is one of Europe’s most emerging markets for solar energy. That’s why I am delighted that we are now able to implement a large-scale PV project in this region. And this is only the beginning. We want to build up a substantial solar portfolio and have already secured several other growth opportunities on the Iberian Peninsula.”
The planned investment volume, including the acquisition of project rights for Alarcos, amounts to about €40 million in total. The Alarcos project was developed by the Spanish company Synergia Energy Solutions, S.L. and 100 per cent of shares were sold to innogy in summer of last year. The contracting parties have agreed to keep the conditions of the transaction confidential, including the purchase price.

The large-scale solar farm will be located to the south of the city of Ciudad Real in the Autonomous Community Castilla-La Mancha. According to current plans, the last pending approvals are set to be made available in the coming weeks so that construction work can begin in early April. It is anticipated that commercial operations will start at the end of 2019. After full commissioning the solar plant will produce enough green energy to supply the equivalent of around 25,000 homes.
innogy’s subsidiary BELECTRIC is responsible for all construction works and will also take on operation and maintenance of the solar farm as a service provider. BELECTRIC is an experienced company in the global solar market with nearly two gigawatts of executed projects globally, including projects in Spain. On top of that, BELECTRIC is among the world’s leading operation and maintenance service providers in the sector.

Establishing a strong presence on the Spanish market for renewable energy sources
innogy already operates onshore wind farms with an installed total capacity of over 440 MW in Spain, as well as four small hydropower plants with 12 MW total capacity. The company is also involved in a PV plant (1 MW) in the Spanish province of Toledo and in the solar thermal power station Andasol 3. This is located in the southern Spanish province of Granada and has an installed capacity of about 50 MW. What’s special about this plant is that its thermal storage unit is able to supply generated energy when it is needed.

Building up its value-adding solar business
In terms of investments in solar, innogy is actively developing projects in several countries. For example, at the beginning of January, innogy acquired solar projects with a total capacity of over 50 MW in Germany from the project developer Primus. innogy has snapped up projects in Europe to the order of a few hundred megawatts in total. The company has managed to establish itself on the Australian market and is currently building a large-scale solar farm with 349 MW capacity in New South Wales. As well as this, innogy has signed an agreement with a Canadian developer for solar projects with a capacity of over 1,000 MW and acquired a solar development pipeline in the US (approximately 440 MW). In doing so, innogy has established an important basis for building up its value-adding solar portfolio.

Picture: Google Earth, (c) Google LLC