RWE announces 8.4 MW AC solar & storage farm for German open cast mine; Fortum’s 1st industrial-scale solar farm in Sweden; Solar VPPA between Engie Romania and Orange Romania; NorSun raises NOK 90 million; China’s Aiko Solar enters 650 MW distributorship with Dutch company; Lynher Energy bags £52.7 million bank facility in the UK.
Solar for open cast mine in Germany: German energy group RWE has started construction of an 8.4 MW AC solar power plant with an integrated battery energy storage system (BESS) on the recultivated Hambach lignite opencast mining site. Located near the shore of the future Hambach Lake, the project will make use of the land till the lake is completely filled with water, a process estimated to take around 40 years from now. Some 22,000 bifacial solar modules will be deployed for the RWE Neuland Solar Farm, scheduled to achieve completion by the end of 2023. RWE is building the project next to the 17.6 MW AC RWE Neuland 1 Solar Farm for which it currently awaits planning permission.
90 MW solar park in Sweden: Finland based Fortum plans to build its 1st industrial-scale solar park in Sweden with approximately 90 MW capacity. The company says it is investigating the possibility of setting up the park at Havdhem in Southern Gotland in line with the strategy to grow its solar power portfolio in the Nordic region. While the solar park, once operational, is likely to have a working life of around 35 years to 40 years. However, in Sweden the permit process takes between 1 year to 3 years, explained Fortum. An investment decision then will be followed by another year of construction.
Solar VPPA in Romania: Internet and mobile company Orange Romania has entered its 1st virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Engie Romania for 30 GWh of solar energy to be sourced annually for 6 years. Orange said this deal will cover part of its annual electricity needs in Romania as part of its aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. The latter aims to install solar panels on 300 of its network sites and 4 communication interconnection centers and data centers by 2026. So far, the company has installed around 650 solar panels on 3 interconnection centers in Constanța, Brașov and Timişoara and 133 network sites have functional solar panels.
NOK 90 million for NorSun: Norway-based solar wafer manufacturer NorSun recently raised NOK 90 million ($8.38 million) to finance its manufacturing expansion project in Norway and the 5 GW fab announced for the US. With NOK 40 million and NOK 10 million equity, Statkraft Ventures and Årdal Energi have stepped in as new shareholders, respectively. Remaining capital was subscribed by NorSun’s current shareholders Nysnø Klimainvesteringer, Scatec Innovation and ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund. It follows NorSun bagging €53.6 million from the EU Innovation Fund (see More Wafers Made In Europe).
Chinese company announces Dutch deal: Chinese solar cell and module producer Aiko Solar has announced a module supply contract with the ‘largest’ household distributor’ of solar modules in the Netherlands, LIBRA. Aiko will supply 650 MW of its All Back Contact (ABC) solar modules under the agreement. These modules from the company offer a conversion efficiency of 24% and stand on top of the TaiyangNews Top Solar Modules Listing for the month of August 2023 (see Top Solar Modules Listing —August 2023).
£52.7 million facility for Lynher Energy: A joint venture (JV) between Napier Park Global Capital and Ethical Power, Lynher Energy has raised £52.7 million ($66.4 million) bank facility to use for its solar and battery energy storage assets in the UK. The facility, comprising development and term loans, has come from Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing, a UK merchant banking group. Initial use of the facility will be for the construction of the 26.1 MW Twitch Hill Solar Farm, with Ethical Power as the EPC contractor.