Swedish energy company Vattenfall establishes a new solar and storage business unit with a US$170m initial investment.
Just recently we wrote about Vattenfall’s entry into the UK consumer energy market with its new green power product FRESH which aims to help business customers with high demand reduce their carbon footprint.
Now, the Swedish state-owned power company is expanding its renewable business by moving into the solar and energy storage market.
The company will look to immediately capitalise on growth of the technology within Europe by lining up €150m of investment in large-scale solar and battery storage projects across the region.
From 1 July, Vattenfall divided its previous Business Area Wind unit into three separate Business Units — offshore wind, onshore wind, and for the first time, PV and battery.
Vattenfall will continue to operate across six European markets — Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and France. The utility expects further growth in these markets over the next few years.
“Anticipated market developments” is what drove Vattenfall to establish the new business unit, according to Gunnar Groebler, Head of Vattenfall Wind.
He explains: “With the ‘go live’ of the new structure, we again put more focus on profitable growth in the renewable space and hence supporting Vattenfall's overall ambition to power climate smarter living and becoming CO2 free in just one generation.
“The new organisation, designed along the respective value chains, will enable the business units to further reduce levelised costs of energy due to increased focus and reduced complexity.”
He added that over the next two years, the utility plans to invest up to €150m in large-scale, as well as decentralised PV and battery projects.
“This underlines Vattenfall’s strong ambition to reshape its overall production portfolio and to broaden into a market with significant future growth rates.”
Vattenfall is known as a leading wind energy operator — currently with more than 1,100 wind turbines in operation across five markets with a total capacity of 2,500MW. In addition, Vattenfall expects that by 2020 it will expand its in-operation wind capacity to 4,000 MW, and between 2016 and 2020 will invest €5.5bn into this goal.
Although not considered as one of the main players in the UK solar market, Vattenfall has started the development of its maiden solar park early 2016 - a 5MW array co-located with one of its wind developments.
It was also awarded one of eight Enhanced Frequency Response contracts from National Grid in mid-2016. It has also just been announced that Vattenfall subsidiary-owned wind farm in Holland will be getting 3MW of energy storage in the form of BMW batteries.
The potential for growth is significant. With technological innovation reducing costs of both solar PV systems and battery storage systems, consumers around the world are finding solar and storage systems more affordable. The systems provide immediate economic benefits — as well as being really helpful towards attaining countrywide renewable energy targets.