The deal signed on Friday stipulates that Innogy and Birdseye are jointly developing a solar PV portfolio. Currently, the portfolio consists of 13 individual projects in the southeastern United States, which the companies cite as an attractive region for solar PV development. The companies cite high solar irradiance, a competitive cost environment and a positive macroeconomic outlook as reasons for the increased growth of renewable energy and solar PV in particular.
Hans Bünting, COO Renewables of Innogy SE, explains: “Solar power is one of the fastest-growing technologies in the energy sector and is becoming increasingly profitable without subsidies in many markets. The strategic partnership with Birdseye is an excellent starting point for us to develop and grow a valuable solar business in the US. Birdseye’s development pipeline and local active engagement with all stakeholders are a perfect fit with our strategy to deliver utility-scale solar projects in promising markets, like North America, with high irradiance and a strong commitment to renewable energy.”
The first three projects have a cumulative capacity of 20 MW and are located in North Carolina. Construction of these is planned to begin by 2019, with full commercial operation to be reached later that year. The remainder of the project pipeline totals 420 MW and is located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi.
“We are pleased that Innogy, with its extensive experience in the renewables business, is on board with us in the development of this solar pipeline,” adds Brian Bednar, CEO of Birdseye Renewable Energy. “Birdseye has built its business on close collaboration with select partners. We consider Innogy and BELECTRIC’s culture and capabilities an ideal complement to Birdseye’s development platform. We look forward to advancing the initial 440 MW portfolio while also pursuing additional opportunities which grow our relationship in the U.S. solar market.”
Once the sites have been developed, Innogy subsidiary Belectric will undertake serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, as well as providing O&M services.
Innogy recently made headlines globally as assets of the RWE renewable energy spin-off where swapped between the German utilities RWE and Eon. Thereby, Eon is to acquire 76% of the stake in Innogy, that was previously owned by RWE. The announcement came as a surprise in March and was recently substantiated as Eon reported that it had secured €5 billion to secure the acquisition.