Scatec reaches commercial operation for another 112 MW of capacity


Oslo-based independent power producer Scatec Solar passed the 1 GW mark for installed generation capacity this month after finishing new sites in Ukraine and Egypt. The company now has 1,128 MW of project capacity in operation and another 776 MW under construction on four continents.

In Ukraine, the company plugged in the 47 MW Rengy project. Scatec said the site will operate under Ukraine’s generous feed-in tariff scheme until 2030. The plant will continue to generate power after the FIT expires as Scatec has leased the public land it was built on for a longer period.

“We are very proud to have started commercial operations in Ukraine just 13 months after securing the project,” said Scatec CEO Raymond Carlsen. “The solar power plant will deliver clean energy to around 15,000 households.”

Scatec has 229 MW of generation capacity under construction and a further 274 MW in its Ukraine pipeline.

The nation’s “green tariff” scheme provides generous subsidies of €0.1502/kWh under a regime which makes payments in Ukrainian hryvnia but which has its payments reviewed quarterly under a euro-hryvnia exchange rate to ensure overseas investors get their expected returns.

Market reform

The Ukrainian market is undergoing changes with the ten-year FIT scheme, which guarantees payments to 2030, due to close after next year. On May 22, a law regulating the core elements of a future auction system entered force. The legislation is intended to provide greater certainty for long-term planning in a vibrant market that appeared to be at a crossroads until a few weeks ago.

Scatec Solar has also moved forward with the development of its sections of the huge Benban solar park in Egypt. The developer said it reached commercial operation for its fifth 65 MW batch of bifacial, tracker-mounted solar capacity at the world’s largest solar complex. Scatec now has 325 MW in operation at the site and anticipates its final section of the project will come online within months, to complete a 390 MW portion of the final Benban capacity.

“The Benban solar power plant will be Scatec Solar’s largest project in operation and is the company’s first solar plant with bifacial solar panels,” read a statement issued by the developer. 

In April 2017, the government of Egypt signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Scatec for six plants with a total 400 MW of production capacity. Aggregate investment in the Benban solar field has been estimated at $450 million, with Scatec providing $50-70 million of that in equity. The company worked with unnamed Egyptian developers and KLP Norfund Investments to secure additional equity investment and also drew upon a consortium of lenders led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Scatec said expected revenue from the projects over 25 years has been estimated at $60 million.

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