Subsidy for SolarDuck consortium’s offshore solar tech; 1 GW RE JV of Keppel & MET; Helexia’s 25.1 MW project for Auchan Retail in Hungary; Aquila & Axpo sign PPA for Spanish solar; 600 MW Swedish solar partnership; X-Elio’s maiden Australian PV plant online; Gamesa lands its biggest Colombian contract to date.
SolarDuck gets Dutch subsidy for offshore solar technology: Dutch floating solar technology company SolarDuck led consortium has won €7.8 million project subsidy from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) build and test its offshore floating solar platform Merganser. The proceeds will help the consortium develop, test and validate the Merganser solar energy platform in harsh North Sea weather conditions. Other members of the consortium include marine research institutes Delft University of Technology, TNO, MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands) and Deltares. The pilot will have the partners deliver 500 kW of 6 linked offshore floating solar platforms by 2024. If successful, the same installation can be upgraded to a GW scale. Through this they will demonstrate that marine solar energy can be scaled up to contribute to and accelerate energy transition.
The team will also develop the requirements for a commercial sized project of at least 5 MW. The Dutch government has provided the subsidy under its Demonstration Energy & Climate Innovation (DEI+) scheme.
Recently, SolarDuck won a 5 MW demonstrator floating solar project with energy storage from Germany’s RWE to build it alongside Hollandse Kust West hybrid offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.
Keppel & MET form European RE JV: Singapore’s Keppel Infrastructure (KI) and Switzerland’s MET Group have formed Keppel MET Renewables AG as a joint venture (JV) to pursue a minimum of 1 GW of operating and ready-to-build (RTB) renewable energy projects in Western Europe. It will be seeded initially with a portfolio of 213 MW early-stage development solar projects in Italy, scheduled to come online between 2024 and 2025. The JV will pursue and invest in both greenfield and brownfield solar and onshore wind assets across Western Europe. Both the partners own 49.9% stake each in the JV with the remaining 0.2% to be held by Founder and CEO of Swiss energy company MET Group, Benjamin Lakatos. KI sees European Green Deal and REPowerEU as offering renewable energy opportunities and sector coupling across the European Union (EU) economy.
Helexia to construct 25.1 MW PV in Hungary: Helexia, a subsidiary of France’s Voltalia, has started construction of 3 out of 20 rooftop solar systems in Hungary for the local stores of French retail group Auchan Retail. Helexia will develop, construct, finance and commission all of this 25.1 MW capacity in 20 locations. By 2023 when all of this capacity is online, it will generate over 25.6 GWh annually, all for Auchan’s self-consumption.
Solar PPAs for 66 MW signed in Spain: Spanish solar and wind power company Aquila Clean Energy has secured Switzerland’s Axpo to supply 100% renewable energy generated by 2 solar power projects of 66 MW combined capacity in Spain. Axpo Iberia entered the power purchase agreements (PPA) for the project through Axpo Iberia to offtake over 120 GWh these 2 projects in Almeria and Toledo produce annually. Axpo will also provide representation services for the projects. Aquila said these facilities are part of a 3 GW portfolio it manages in Spain.
600 MW solar partnership for Sweden: Part of Germany’s IBC Solar AG, Solkompaniet of Sweden and Polhem Infra which is owned by 3 pension funds, will together implement 600 MW solar portfolio in Sweden. It includes 2 projects under development by Solkompaniet of 100 MW. Largest solar parks in the country currently have 20 MW capacity but are set to grow larger. Recently a Rystad Energy study singled out Sweden, Finland and Denmark to help Nordic region become a powerhouse supplier to Europe with their plans to bring several GWs of solar and wind online by 2030 (see 3 Nordic Nations To Add 12.8 GW Solar PV Capacity By 2030).
X-Elio’s 1st Australian solar project online: Spanish renewables player X-Elio has commissioned 200 MW Blue Grass Solar Farm in Australia’s Queensland as its maiden PV facility in the country to have come online. It is expected to generate 420 GWh annually with 375,000 bifacial solar panels and half-cut cells. The project is financed by Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), ING, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC). Offtake agreements are in place with Salesforce, Stanwell Corporation and ZEN Energy. The project in Western Downs is one of Queensland’s 50 large scale renewable energy projects aligned with the Queensland Renewable Energy Target (QRET) to generate 70% of its energy needs from renewables by 2032, and 80% by 2035, according to X-Elio.
Gamesa inverters for Colombian plant: Spanish solar inverter supplier Gamesa Electric will supply its 113 MW Proteus solar inverters to Elecnor’s Porton del Sol project in Colombia. It is the company’s largest project to date in Colombia, the company added. The capacity includes 28 Proteus 4300 inverters integrated in 13 PV stations of 8.3MVA and 2 PV stations of 4.15MVA, with a total power of 116.2 MVA. Gamesa claims the Proteus PV inverter offers a record efficiency of 99.45% with an extremely low harmonic level (THDi) of 0.7%.