Sweden’s largest solar energy company Svea Solar announced on Monday it had entered a PPA with Scandinavian dairy multinational Arla to provide 100 GWh of solar energy annually – half of the company’s total energy needs for its Swedish operations.
Pieter Godderis, Managing Director of Svea Solar Utility, today told pv magazine the PPA was a “historic” agreement and a decade-long contract. “What’s historic for the company and for the whole solar industry in Sweden is that it is the largest power purchase agreement for solar energy in Sweden thus far,” he said. “Arla is a really big name and we are really proud that a big established company engages in this.”
Godderis said the move was part of a “clear” trend of companies to buy energy directly from domestic utility-scale solar parks.
“There's been an era where the Googles and Facebooks have entered these long, huge PPAs with big wind farms up north, so that's very established,” he said. “But now what we see more and more is maybe smaller consumers… having a direct agreement with a solar IPP for a long-term power off-deck.”
Godderis could not reveal the terms of the Svea Solar and Arla PPA or when it is expected to commence, but said the solar energy would be generated from a range of Svea Solar solar parks currently in development in Sweden’s southern region, electricity area SE3 (Stockholm).
He said there were benefits to operating solar parks in the SE3 as there was congestion transporting the energy generated in SE1 and SE2 – predominantly from wind and hydro – to the bottom of the country, where the “largest consumer of electricity in Sweden” resides.
Svea Solar has built over 30 solar parks in Sweden with an additional 30 large-scale solar parks under development in European countries such as Italy, Spain and Cyprus.
Godderis said the company expects five more solar parks to reach a commercial operation date (COD) later this year and early next year.
Svea Solar’s bread-and-butter is installing rooftop solar systems, with 20,000 completed installations under its belt, according to its website. Godderis said the company should also be known as an independent power producer with an international scope.
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