In what is becoming an industry trend for private PPAs, Vattenfall has announced it will purchase power from three solar PV farms in the Netherland’s Uden, totaling 38 MW. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Vattenfall will use its digital trading platform, Powerpeers, which allows customers to buy and use solar energy directly from their own neighborhood, to supply electricity from the solar farm to the residents of Uden.
Two of the solar projects – 14 MW in Torenweg in Middelburg and 12 MW in Emmeloord – are owned by Danish renewable energy investor, Obton Solenergi; while the third – 12 MW in Uden – is owned by TPSolarKonzept.
“Our solution not only makes it possible to buy solar power, but it also makes it possible to support your local solar farmer. Our over-all ambition is to help our customers to become fossil free and this is an example of our cutting-edge knowledge in this area,” says Martijn Hagens, Head of Customers & Solutions.
Originator at Vattenfall, Chantal van Halen, said that part of the power company’s strategy going forward is to build a portfolio of such agreements, and to take advantage of the growing Dutch solar market. She added that the deals are the first of their kind for Vattenfall, in the Netherlands.
In December, Dutch power provider, Nuon, a subsidiary of Vattenfall, announced a 200 MW solar PV project pipeline for the Netherlands, although no further details were made available. It did say at the time though that solar projects can be implemented more quickly than wind projects, and that a co-location of both technologies is “many times a great idea”.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said at the end of 2017, that a number of European solar markets have recently grown – “most notably” the Netherlands – in a bid to reach their 2020 renewable energy targets.
It warned, however, that the Dutch market is at risk of “overheating”, with an estimated 5 GW of solar projects receiving construction permits in 2017.
In September, the Dutch government allocated 2.3 GW of large-scale solar under the spring round of its SDE+ 2017 auction, while in November, a further 3.2 GW were accepted.
“The highest strike price for the autumn round was 117 euros/MWh down from 125 euros/MWh in spring. Under the Autumn Round, PV systems under 1MW will have only 18 months to come online, while larger ones are allowed 36 months time,” said BNEF.
The government announced in December that the budget for the 2018 SDE+ program will remain at €12 billion. Like in 2017, the funds will be allocated in two phases, with a first €6 billion tranche being used in the so-called “spring round”, and a second tranche of the same amount going to finance incentives of the second phase, the “autumn round”.
BNEF continued, “Data released by the RVO suggests that there are at least 3.9 GW of PV projects permitted since the SDE+2014 round which must come online in the next three years. This figure could rise to 6.4GW if we assume the latest Autumn round will award 2.5GW to PV. We have adjusted our forecast accordingly and increased our optimistic outlook to 1.2GW in 2018 and 2019 each.”