Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis announced the signing of five virtual power purchase agreements (VPPA) with three energy providers: Spain-based Acciona, Portugal-based EDP Renewables and Italy's Enel Green Power. The electricity will be provided by six renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 275 MW that these companies are currently developing in Spain. The projects are expected to be operational in 2023.
Acciona will build two solar plants totaling 169 MW in Almendralejo, in the province of Badajoz, and in the towns of Jarafuel and Ayora, in the province of Valencia. Around 135 MW of this capacity will be used for the supply of power through a VPPA to Novartis. Both facilities are expected to begin operations in early 2023.
Through the Tico Wind Farm, located in Villar de los Navarros, in the province of Zaragoza, Enel Green Power will supply Novartis with 79 MW of sustainable electricity. This project will be operational in early 2022.
Furthermore, EDP Renewables, the renewables division of Portuguese power company EDP, will develop a 36 MW wind farm in the province of Zaragoza and a 30 MW solar power plant in the province of Cádiz. With both projects, it is expected to provide a total of 63 MW of renewable electricity and both are planned to be operational by early 2023.
These European agreements follow on from the recently signed VPPA with the Santa Rita East wind farm in the US state of Texas, which currently provides 100% of the electricity used in Novartis operations in the US and Canada. Novartis thus becomes the first pharmaceutical group that is preparing to reach 100% renewable energy in its European operations through virtual energy agreements, the company said in a statement.
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, served as a consultant for the transaction. Global law firm Baker McKenzie advised the company on all legal matters related to VPPAs.
In a separate development, German PV project developer Enerparc has announced it secured a 30-year PPA with German railway operator Deutsche Bahn.
The deal relates to a 90 MW photovoltaic power plant in Gaarz in the German northeastern region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Under the terms of the agreement, the solar plant will sell approximately 80 GWh of electricity per year to Deutsche Bahn.
The solar park will be built on a 91-hectare area in the first half of next year. The project is being financed by German lender Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB). “We see a promising business model in the marketing of electricity from renewable energy sources through PPAs, which can be particularly attractive for large photovoltaic systems and which contributes to climate protection,” explained Tilo Hacke, member of the board of directors at DKB.
Eneparc previously secured a PPA from Deutsche Bahn for a 42 MW solar park grid-connected in January in the region of Schleswig-Holstein.
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