Norwegian firm agrees deal with council-owned Warrington Renewables to buy power generated by co-located solar and battery facility
Statkraft has agreed to directly purchase electricity from a co-located 35MW solar farm and 27MWh battery storage facility in York, after signing a power purchase agreement with Warrington Borough Council's wholly-owned clean energy company.
Announced yesterday, the deal will see the Norwegian state-owned energy firm purchase all of the power generated by the hybrid solar-battery project, which is owned and operated by the council via Warrington Renewables Ltd.
Statkraft described the utility-scale solar park - which was completed late last year - as one of the UK's most technically-advanced solar projects, as it utilises technology enabling both sides of the solar panel to produce energy in order to maximise output.
Nick Heyward, head of UK energy storage and markets at Statkraft UK, said the power purchase agreement (PPA) would help the council maximise the overall value of the subsidy-free solar project's generation.
"We had to develop a bespoke hybrid PPA solution to manage the various aspects of the site, reflecting the overall innovation that has gone into the site itself," he explained. "By optimising the energy storage alongside the renewable energy for Warrington council we hope to set a blueprint to follow, for other local authorities and partners that are committed about delivering net zero as well as benefiting their communities through revenues from renewable energy."
Statkraft intends to manage the power it purchases from the York solar project through its virtual 'Unity' power platform, which aggregates 2.6GW of installed capacity from its network of wind and solar facilities, as well as from its flexible gas assets and battery arrays.
It comes during a busy week for UK subsidy-free solar projects, with NextEnergy Capital having securing £100m financing to build a 75MW project in South Wales, as well as another 50MW solar farm in Worcestershire.
In addition, NextEnergy Capital also announced two 10-year PPA deals to sell a total of 62GWh per year from two Virgina solar farms to oil giant Shell's North American energy business.
The deals have been agreed via NextPower III - NextEnergy Capital's third institutional solar fund - and cover approximately 90 per cent of the electricity generated by the Briel Farm and Gardy's Mill solar facilities, which together amount to 45MW of capacity.
"The execution of these long-term contracts is a landmark for NextPower III and is all the more significant for having been achieved against the backdrop of Covid-19 and the associated oil shocks," said Lorena Ciciriello, managing director and head of debt financing at NextEnergy Capital. "Virginia has historically been a coal-centric state and we are delighted that these solar projects will support Dominion Energy Virginia's 16GW IRP target over the next fifteen years."
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