Germany’s Innogy unveils ambitious solar expansion plans

Although German renewable energy company, Innogy SE, a unit of power provider RWE, has not yet named the successor to resigning CEO, Peter Terium, the company has announced a new plan to expand its solar and renewable energy business.

Innogy said it is currently operating around 1 GW of on-shore wind farms, and about 1.8 GW of off-shore wind mills. “This solid basis will be expanded through the entry into new markets as well as through the development of more large-scale photovoltaic projects,” the company stated. Its renewable energy project pipeline, Innogy, specified currently stands at around 5 GW.

Just over a year ago, Innogy completed the acquisition of PV project developer, Belectric. Belectric was “the preferred partner for the design, construction and operation of the facilities,” it said.

Furthermore, Innogy announced it intends to continue investing in the PV sector. “Photovoltaics is one of the fastest growing technologies in the energy sector and is now economically viable in many of the markets even without subsidies. Innogy wants to be part of this market,” explained company board member, Hans Bünting.

Innogy is currently developing solar projects in North America, Germany and the Netherlands. In addition, the company has already signed an agreement in Canada with a developer there for the construction of photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 1 GW. The first 260 MW project should be realized this year, the company said.

“Innogy has laid the foundation for investing in large-scale solar projects,” it stated. However, the final investment decisions for the solar development projects still need to be made.

“When it comes to large-scale projects,” Bünting continued, “we look for suitable partners who work together with us to make the project a success. Both majority and minority stakes are conceivable.” In many non-European countries, he also sees a “significant backlog” in the expansion of renewables. Here, too, Innogy is looking for “new opportunities for profitable growth”.

In an article on the German news portal, dpa-AFX, Bünting also stated that he expects to reach the forecasted result of an around €350 million EBIT in 2017, and a profit on a similar level for the current year. He declined to comment on the search for a successor to Terium.