Shell has continued its recent investment spree in the clean energy sector this week, announcing a Power Purchase Agreement in England which will make it the single off-taker from the largest solar farm in the country, the 69.8 megawatt Bradenstoke solar power plant.
This most recent investment spree began last month, when four days before Christmas Shell announced that it would acquire First Utility, a leading independent household energy and broadband provider with 3% of the UK residential energy market.
“The supply and demand of residential energy is rapidly changing, driven by new technologies that enable householders to better manage their energy use, and the need for a low-carbon energy system,” Mark Gainsborough, Shell’s Executive Vice President of New Energies, said at the time. “This combination will enable Shell to enter a new part of the energy market in the UK and to improve choice for customers by delivering innovative services at competitive prices.”
Fast forward a little to this week, and Shell backed up its commitment to low-carbon energy systems by announcing it had acquired a major stake in leading US solar developer, owner, and operator Silicon Ranch Corporation. The deal, which is subject to typical regulatory approvals, would see Shell acquire a 43.83% stake in the company in a deal worth between $193 and $217 million.
At the same time, back across the Pond, Shell was part of a group of companies including Swedish development finance institution Swedfund International and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies (ENGIE group’s impact investment fund) to participate in a $20 million equity investment in Husk Power Systems, a leading rural distributed utility company which operates mini-grids in Asia and Africa.
Thursday, it was reported that Shell Energy Europe had signed another deal, this time with British Solar Renewables to secure the electricity generated from the 69.8 (MW) megawatt Bradenstoke solar power plant. Shell will now be the single off-taker from the project — the largest solar farm in England and the second-largest in the UK — benefiting from approximately 65 GWh (gigawatt-hours) of solar energy each year.
“The UK is one of our key markets for power and we’ve been exploring ways to increase our power presence in the country on both the buy and sell side,” said Jonathan McCloy, general manager for north-west Europe at Shell Energy Europe. “The deal with BSR helps us achieve this goal and is a significant boost to our renewable power portfolio in the UK.”