Swedish power company Vattenfall, known most recently for its wind energy development, has announced that it plans to invest €100 million in large-scale solar energy generation over the next two years, as part of the company’s plans to become fossil free within a generation.
Announced last week, Vattenfall revealed plans to invest 1 billion Swedish krona (SEK), or €100 million, in large-scale solar energy generation over the next two years — specifically in areas where Vattenfall can use existing infrastructure to reduce the overall cost of a project.
This is not a surprising move, considering a July 2017 announcement that it would begin moving into the solar PV + storage market. The move split its previous Business Area Wind unit into three separate Business Units — Offshore Wind, Onshore Wind, and Photovoltaic & Battery.
“Already early this year, we have taken a decision to adjust our ways of working towards the anticipated market developments,” explained Gunnar Groebler, Head of Vattenfall Wind at the time. “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.”
Vattenfall already has the 5 megawatt (MW) Parc Cynog solar farm in Wales, paired with its wind farm. The company has also already finalized investment decisions for three large-scale solar projects at existing plants in Velsen, Hemweg, and Eemshaven in the Netherlands which, in total, will have a capacity of 10.5 MW. Vattenfall also has planned investments in the Netherlands this year, including the Haringvliet solar farm which will have a total capacity of 40 MW and will be combined with the nearby Haringvliet wind farm.
“Solar power is an important supplement to wind power as a renewable source of energy,” said Magnus Hall, Vattenfall’s President and CEO. “We are now increasing the investment budget for solar power to satisfy our customers’ increased interest and demand. From electricity consumers, who can obtain electricity from our future solar farms, but also from potential customers, who want to both consume and generate electricity from solar power.”