Solarcentury expands in Southern Europe; selects Canadian Solar for Spanish project

Solarcentury has selected Canadian Solar to provide modules for its 200MW ‘La Cabrera’ and 300MW ‘Talayuela Solar’ projects in Spain. Solarcentury recently also announced it is expanding into Italy.

Due to the sheer quantity of renewable electricity subsidy-free projects will generate, they are a highly significant milestone in realizing our vision (Steven Taylor, Global Operations Director of Solarcentury)

The Italian solar power market is entering a very exciting stage and it’s a hugely positive time for European solar power, CEO Frans van den Heuvel stated. First a look at the Spanish projects ‘La Cabrera’ and ‘Talayuela Solar’.

Both projects start this year and are expected to be connected to the electricity grid in 2020, adding a total of 500MW to the grid and Solarcentury’s portfolio of solar energy projects.

The ‘Talayuela’ project is developed in Cáceres, in Spain’s Extremadura region. End 2018 Solarcentury announced an agreement with Germany’s Encavis AG regarding the project whereby 80% of Talayuela Solar is sold to Germany’s Encavis AG and 20% of the assets remain in the hands of Solarcentury, which also carries out the commercial and technical management of the solar park.

The 40 MWp Doña Carmen solar farm in La Ligua, in the Valparaiso region of central Chile

The Talayuela Solar and La Cabrera solar energy projects in Spain

The installation in Extramadura will have an energy capacity of 300 MWp, making it one of the most powerful in Europe. The solar energy generated enables to provide power to 150,000 houses a year (or more than 10% of the inhabitants of Extremadura). Talayuela Solar is built without subsidy.

The second – more recently announced – project, ‘La Cabrera’, consists of four 50 MWp installations in the region of Sevilla (respectively called ‘Cerrado Cabrera’, ‘El Primo Alemán’, ‘Hazas de los Sesenta’ and ‘Los Gonzalez’).

Here it is expected that enough electricity will be produced to meet the demand of 105,000 households in the region. It’s the second large-scale solar energy project without subsidy in Spain for Solarcentury that has a total portfolio of 5 GW of solar energy projects under development worldwide.

The Talayuela Solar project will also create a minimum of 100 new engineering and construction jobs in the Extremadura region of Talayuela.

As the solar industry matures and the costs of development fall subsidy-free solar projects are becoming increasingly viable says Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel
As the solar industry matures and the costs of development fall subsidy-free solar projects are becoming increasingly viable says Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel

Solarcentury expands into Italy; wins auctions in France

In March 2019 Solarcentury announced major auction wins, enabling the company to enter the French market where it will develop three solar parks with partner OXYGN.

Each one is developed on brownfield locations.  They are called Lourches (17 MW in Hauts de France), Marigny (30 MW in Grand Est) and Digue de Port-Saint-Louis (10 MW in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur).Two of them are partly funded by crowdfunding with investments from the local communities.: for Lourches Euro 1.1 million will be raised through local community investment and for Digue de Port-Saint-Louis Euro 0.7 million.

Subsidy-free solar has long been the predicted gateway for mass deployment, but it has a major impact on the approach to development of projects (Dr Peer Piske, Director of Business Development, EMEA, Solarcentury)

Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel pointed out it’s a perfect time for European solar energy when announcing that his company had sold its majority stake in ‘La Cabrera’ in April.

And so it seems as early May 2019 the the UK-based integrated solar energy company with activities in Europe, Latin America and Africa, announced that it expanded into another European market, Italy.

Solar energy developments in Italy are expected to increase significantly over the next ten years thanks to the ongoing reduction in costs and a progressive national integrated plan for climate and energy for 2030, which aims to reach a cumulatively installed PV solar capacity of a whopping 50 GW by 2030.

CEO Frans van den Heuvel said that the Italian solar power market is entering a very exciting stage. “Just as we’ve seen elsewhere across Europe, solar in Italy no longer requires subsidies to be competitive, making this market an increasingly attractive choice for investors”.

End 2018 ‘Budel Solar Park’, a 44 MW solar park in the industrial area of Cranendonck in Budel (The Netherlands, close to the Belgian border) started production. It should provide enough clean power for 12,500 homes. Here as well the park is co-owned by Encavis AG and Solarcentury.

The 44MW solar park in Budel in The Netherlands that started production end 2018 - source and more info Solarcentury
The 44MW solar park in Budel in The Netherlands that started production end 2018 – source and more info Solarcentury

Canadian Solar: contract to supply 500 MW modules

For the Spanish projects, Chinese-Canadian solar panel manufacturer Canadian Solar will deliver a total of approximately 1.4 million high efficiency CS3U-P KuMax Modules, the 144-cell polycrystalline modules in its KU solar module range which are the best solution for these two large-scale projects according to the company given, among others, low power loss .

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman of Canadian Solar on the agreement: “We are very proud to partner with Solarcentury in one of the largest solar power projects in Europe, which is set to be built without subsidy in the country. This partnership further expands our presence and competitive position in this region.”

Canadian Solar had a revenue drop in the first quarter of this year, among others because of an ERP upgrade. As Travis Hoium reports, just like all solar manufacturers the company has challenges due to, among others, price pressure, fierce competition to win solar energy projects such as the ones mentioned and oversupply.

A good European market could make a difference for the industry with the two largest markets, the US and China, being relatively unpredictable although there are positive signs.

 

All images belong to their respective mentioned owners and serve illustration purposes. The top picture is from the 40 MWp Doña Carmen solar farm in La Ligua, in the Valparaiso region of central Chile, another Solarcentury project.