Private solar PPAs signed in France and Germany


From pv magazine Germany and pv magazine France.

French bank Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale and solar developer Voltalia have announced the signing of a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the supply of green electricity.

The 15 MWh of electricity supplied will amount to 5% of Crédit Mutuel’s total annual consumption. The agreement provides for the construction of a 10 MW solar power plant.

Underlining it is possible to produce competitive renewable power in France, Voltalia CEO Sebastien Clerc said the partnership opens new perspectives for the projects his company develops in the country.

The lender said it will support Voltalia in the construction of further renewable generation facilities. Crédit Mutuel has established a strategic plan for 2019-2023 which aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2023.

French deals

If Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale was pleased to be the first bank in France to sign a green electricity PPA, the deal was not the first secured by Voltalia. In May the developer – which has 1 GW of generation capacity operating and under construction and a 7.1 GW development pipeline – signed a PPA with the Boulanger Group for the supply of power from a 5 MW solar project. A month later, Voltalia signed a solar PPA with French railway operator SNCF related to 143 MW of generation capacity. The latter published an expression of interest in 2017 in which it announced it was aiming to source around 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2025.

In mid-September, French postal service La Poste Groupe announced plans for a tender to seek at least one corporate PPA for the supply of electricity from renewables or biogas. And another PPA was recently signed between French clean energy company Akuo Energy and internet business Qwant, although it was unclear whether solar was part of the agreement. In November, French energy cooperative Enercoop issued a request for proposals to help it select solar and wind power projects up to 10 MW in size under which it could sign a long-term PPA.

Other entities in France are seeking clean energy power supply deals through similar tenders, including the Airport of Paris.

German PPA

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German solar developer Enerparc says it has secured a PPA for a solar project planned in Bavaria, with completion scheduled in the spring.

The electricity buyer will be Norwegian energy company Statkraft, which has agreed to purchase 600 GWh between May next year and December 2031. The financial terms of the PPA were not disclosed.

Enerparc will be responsible for construction and operation of the solar park and its Sunnic unit will take over the short term sale of electricity on the spot market before May. The long term PPA granted by Statkraft gives Enerparc the planning security to implement the unsubsidized generation project.

The Norwegian off-taker wants to supply unspecified industrial clients with the solar electricity generated. “More and more industrial companies are setting themselves ambitious sustainability goals,” said Carsten Poppinga, MD of Statkraft in Germany. “In addition to electricity from wind turbines, we can now also offer these companies electricity from subsidy-free solar systems for structured electricity deliveries.”

The first of many

For Enerparc, the projects will be just the starting point, according to CEO Stefan Müller. “With these solar parks, with an output of 52 MW, we are implementing subsidy-free solar parks on a multi-megawatt scale for the first time and [it] will be the starting point for many more future projects in this area,” said the chief executive. The Hamburg company will rely on Statkraft when it comes to development of further PV systems outside the German renewable energy law which governs incentives, said Müller, who added: “We look forward to a long term cooperation.”

Several companies in Germany have announced private PPAs for non-subsidized solar parks this year. EnBW kicked off in February with plans for an unsubsidized 175 MW solar plant in Brandenburg which is expected to go into operation next year. Shortly after, the Baden-Württemberg public utility concluded a 15-year PPA with renewables developer Energiekontor for an 85 MW solar plant in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which is set to be online next year.

Maxsolar and Baywa re connected the first of their unsubsidized German PV projects to the grid in recent weeks. Sustainability lender Umweltbank has been offering standardized financing for PPA projects in Germany since the summer. The prerequisite for a loan with a term of up to 25 years is the conclusion of a PPA for at least five years.

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