European joint venture wants to deploy 4 GW of PPA-linked solar across UK, Germany and the Netherlands


From pv magazine Germany

Dutch solar developer Naga Solar Holding BV announced this week the creation of the joint venture Ampyr Solar Europe (ASE) with Belgian company AGP Group and U.K.-based merchant commodities firm Hartree Partners. The three companies will have, each, a one-third stake in the joint venture, said Henny Pelsers, CEO of Naga Solar, in an interview with pv magazine. The goal is the development, construction and operation of photovoltaic plants with a total output of more than 4 GW in Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. All the projects will be financed through power purchase agreements (PPA).

Naga Solar has been involved in project development in Germany and the Netherlands for many years. “But in the long term, project development alone will not be an economic business model. That is why we no longer only want to plan photovoltaic projects for investors in the future, but rather transform ourselves into an independent [power] producer (IPP),” Pelsers stated. “And [we] will keep and operate a large part of the planned PPA projects in our portfolio.” The AGP Group will contribute with its experience in the development of large photovoltaic power plants and Hartree Partners will bring its knowledge of electricity trading and PPAs to the joint venture.

The 4 GW of PPA projects is distributed 50% to Germany and a quarter each to the Netherlands and the U.K. In the Netherlands, the company is currently still in the process of developing photovoltaic projects that are funded through the SDE+ program. In the next few years, however, the market there will also move more towards PPAs, Pelsers is certain. In Germany, however, the project pipeline is already growing rapidly. “About 60% of the 2 GW of planned PPA projects are located in Bavaria and the rest in the eastern federal states,” Aravinda Perera told pv magazine. He is the managing director of Naga Solar Deutschland GmbH, which has its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. The first projects should go online this year.

The largest project in Germany will have an output of around 100 MW and photovoltaic plants with a maximum capacity of 50 MW should be built in the Netherlands and the U.K. The photovoltaic projects in the U.K. come from the development pipeline of the AGP Group, while the planned projects in Germany and the Netherlands come from Naga Solar.

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Pelsers sees increasing demand for power purchase agreements – both from energy suppliers and businesses. With Hartree's experience behind it, the joint venture will offer different types of PPAs. The standard term is 10-12 years; for smaller projects it could be as little as five years. “Since we work with the well-known banks, we can offer attractive financial conditions and at the same time the financing of the projects is secured,” Perera explained.

“The aim of the joint venture is to have all photovoltaic projects ready for construction and partially realized by 2023, or already on the grid,” he continued. “The grid connections are secured and the development plan is often already in place.” This year, Ampyr Solar Europe intends to build at least 200 MW of the PPA-linked projects or at least make them ready for construction. Another 400 MW will follow in the subsequent year.

A solar park with 21 MW in Bavaria should be one of the first projects implemented by the new joint venture. Naga Solar had signed a contract for the finalization of the approval process, including the substation, with the Clean Energy Future Fund of Aream GmbH in mid-January. With the new substation, the grid connection of up to 60 MW should be possible and Naga Solar already has further projects in the pipeline for this. The first 21 MW should be grid-connected by the end of the year.

“In order to continue to generate strong, consistent returns from the solar industry, we believe investors need to deploy capital earlier in the development process and embrace new technologies like batteries and hydrogen,” Pelsers affirmed.

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