Siemens Energy to deliver power plant technology to South Korea

28 January | Projects

Germany-based energy company Siemens Energy has secured a contract from Korea East-West Power, a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power, to deliver its HL-class power plant technology for the Eumseong Unit One combined-cycle power plant.

The plant will be built at a site in Eumseong in north-western Chungcheongbuk-do Province, and is scheduled to be commissioned in late 2024, where a 1GW coal-fired power plant was previously due to be built before it was scrapped.

Under the terms of the contract, Siemens Energy will deliver an SGT6-9000HL gas turbine, an SST-5000 steam turbine, a SGen-3000W generator and the SPPA-T3000 control system. The contract scope also includes long-term part management for the gas turbine and technical field advisory services.

Eumseong Unit One has an installed capacity of 571MW and is the first of two planned combined-cycle power plant units to be built in the province. The plant will operate on re-gasified liquefied natural gas and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 3.7 million tonnes a year.

Siemens Energy Generation executive vice-president Karim Amin said: “We are honoured to receive this new order, which underscores South Korea’s confidence and trust in our leading HL-class gas turbine technology to drive the decarbonisation targets of the country.

“The new plant will ensure the highest efficiencies in power generation, resulting in a significant reduction in CO₂ emissions.”

28 January | Renewables

ReNew Power divests 117MW rooftop solar portfolio in India

Indian renewable energy company ReNew Power has announced the sale of a 117MW/138MWp distributed rooftop solar portfolio to Fourth Partner Energy for an $89.9m (Rs6.72bn) consideration.

After calculating an outstanding debt of $18.3m (Rs1.37bn), the sale proceeds amounted to $71.6m (Rs5.35bn). ReNew Power said it expects to profit from the deal, and the company aims to create greater value for its shareholders by re-allocating capital into projects with higher-return opportunities and focusing more on large utility-scale projects.

The move aims to reduce the run-rate-adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of the company’s entire portfolio by between $9.4m (Rs700m) and $9.6m (Rs720m).

In August last year, ReNew Power merged with special purpose acquisition company RMG Acquisition Corporation II for an enterprise value of $8bn. Earlier in the year, the company unveiled plans to build a solar cell and module manufacturing facility in the Indian state of Gujarat.

ReNew Power chairman and CEO Sumant Sinha said: “Strong capital discipline is a core value for ReNew. This sale illustrates the value that can be released through the sale of assets."

25 January | Finances

UK allocates funding to boost floating offshore wind capacity

The UK Government has announced more than $41.7m (£31m) in funding to support the development of floating offshore wind projects in the country as it seeks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

The government allocation will be matched by an additional $40.3m (£30m) investment from industry, towards a total of 11 successful projects that will develop innovative floating offshore wind technologies under the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme.

The funding will be used to support research and development activities in floating offshore wind and expedite the deployment of wind turbines in deep-sea areas, including in areas where winds are at their strongest. The initiative is expected to reduce the costs of developing and locating floating turbines in deep-water areas.

Areas of research will include how turbines are moored to the seabed, undersea cabling and developing foundation solutions. The government expects the funding to further strengthen the UK’s energy security by deploying home-grown renewable technologies.

Energy Minister Greg Hands said: “We are already a world leader in offshore wind and floating technology is key to unlocking the full potential of the seas around Britain.

21 January | Finances

Massive UK battery factory receives $2.3bn in funding

UK-based battery manufacturing start-up Britishvolt has announced $2.3bn (£1.7bn) of funding for a proposed battery “gigafactory”.

Britishvolt plans to produce 30GWh of battery capacity per year from its 93-hectare site in Blyth, Northumberland. The location has access to a deep-sea port facility and renewable energy uplinks.

Property investment managers Tritax and Abrdn have now partnered with Britishvolt to build the factory, as well as an associated supplier park. The UK Government has also made an “in principle offer” of $134.3m (£100m) of public money to fund development.

The funds would come from its Automotive Transformation Fund, designed to grow the electric vehicle industry ahead of the UK’s 2030 ban on combustion-only vehicles.

The Financial Times previously reported that ministers would allow $268.6m (£200m) of public funding. This sum has since shrunk in order to provide more funding to competitors.

The fund also provided for expansion of a competitor plant in Sunderland, owned by Chinese company Envision. This plant currently supplies batteries to car manufacturer Nissan.

Britishvolt executive chairman Peter Rolton said: “This news is the first step in creating a commercialised battery ecosystem, which perfectly aligns with the existing R&D ecosystem.

“Britishvolt will be the anchor for attracting further sections of the supply chain, be it refining or recycling, to co-locate on the Britishvolt site.”

20 January | Renewables

Masdar and Cosmo Energy to explore renewable initiatives in Japan

Emirati renewable energy company Masdar has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese oil refining and marketing firm Cosmo Energy Holdings (CEH).

Under the terms of the MoU, the two companies will explore renewable energy development opportunities in Japan, particularly offshore wind projects. Japan aims to install 10GW of offshore wind capacity in the country by 2030, increasing this to 45GW by 2040.

In addition to offshore wind projects, Masdar and CEH may also work on hydrogen and ammonia-related projects, as well as carbon capture and storage and carbon capture, utilisation and storage solutions.

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “The UAE and Japan share common objectives on carbon reduction and climate action and we expect this MoU to help in accelerating Japan’s energy transition and support sustainable economic growth. This initiative also represents an opportunity for Masdar to expand its presence in Asia, a market that is of key strategic importance for us.

“We look forward to leveraging our extensive experience in offshore wind, to contribute to Japan’s offshore wind targets, and to work with a long-standing partner like Cosmo Energy on other initiatives that could support decarbonisation.”

In a separate development, Masdar and French energy company Engie have signed a collaboration agreement with Fertiglobe to co-develop a green hydrogen facility with up to 200MW of capacity in the UAE.

20 January | Finances

8minute Solar Energy secures $400m in financing from EIG

US-based solar energy company 8minute Solar Energy 8minute has secured $400m in financing from institutional investor EIG to increase its clean energy asset portfolio. The deal includes a letter of credit and a portion of growth equity.

8minute plans to use the proceeds on technological innovation, solar plant design and to start building projects on its balance sheet. The firm’s portfolio currently includes 18GW of solar capacity and 24GWh of storage capacity located across California, Texas and the south-western US, and more than 50 utility-scale projects in various stages of development, with an average project capacity of 400MW.

Following this investment, EIG chairman and CEO Blair Thomas will join 8minute’s Board of Directors.

8minute founder and CEO Tom Buttgenbach said: “This strategic fundraise is not only a resounding vote of confidence in 8minute from a global energy investor that shares our vision for a zero-carbon future, but also an important signal that the private sector recognises the immediate need for more reliable, resilient and low-cost climate solutions.

“With EIG’s investment, we further solidify our role as a clean technology leader and become the leading technology provider of ‘smart’ solar power plants with integrated energy storage. As we look to expand into green hydrogen and other adjacent markets, a partner that understands this business is critical to our continued success.”

In brief

Brookfield Renewable acquires Urban Grid and project pipeline

Renewable asset management firm Brookfield Renewable has announced the acquisition of US-based clean power developer Urban Grid and its project pipeline for $650m. Urban Grid has a pipeline of 13GW of utility-scale solar power capacity and 7GW of energy storage capacity.

Sweihan PV Power issues $700m green bond for solar facility

Emirati energy company Sweihan PV Power has issued a $700.8m green project bond to refinance the debt for its namesake 1,177MW photovoltaic power project in the UAE. Marubeni said that the project bond will be used to refinance an existing senior loan that was taken using project finance facilities.

Ørsted signs MoUs to develop offshore wind farm in South Korea

Ørsted has signed memoranda of understanding with Korea Southern Power and Korea Midland Power to develop the Incheon offshore wind project in South Korea. The 1.6GW offshore wind facility will have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power 1.3 million Korean households.

Verizon signs power purchase agreements for renewable capacity

Verizon has signed seven new renewable energy purchase agreements for a total capacity of 910MW. The company has signed four 15-year deals with Leeward Renewable Energy for a total of 640MW of clean energy.

20 January | DEALS

Cordelio Power acquires 900MWac solar project pipeline in US

Canada-based renewable energy company Cordelio Power has announced the acquisition of a 900MWac pipeline of utility-scale solar projects, most of which are located in the US state of New York.

The company has acquired the portfolio from solar energy development firm SunEast Renewables for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal, Cordelio Power has received more than 600MWac worth of projects that are fully contracted with the New York State Energy Research Authority for a 20-year period.

The remaining 300MWac is from early-stage projects situated in the states of Pennsylvania and New York, and the projects are expected to come online in 2023.

SunEast has agreed to work with Cordelio to complete the projects that are included in the deal, as well as to develop new renewable power projects in New York and other eastern US markets.

SunEast Development president Tom Swank said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Cordelio to efficiently transition SunEast’s portfolio of development assets into construction and operation.

“Cordelio brings both the skill set and financial capability to complete development and build an operating portfolio of solar projects that will provide clean, sustainable, cost-effective renewable power to customers in our target markets.”

19 January | Exploration

Fugro wins cable route survey contract from Energinet in Denmark

Netherlands-based geodata company Fugro has secured a contract from Danish national transmission system operator Energinet to conduct cable route surveys for the North Sea Energy Island project.

The proposed Energy Island will be used as an offshore power plant to transfer up to 10GW of offshore wind power to Denmark and other neighbouring markets.

As part of the contract, Fugro will carry out geophysical, geotechnical services and laboratory testing activities to identify ground engineering challenges along the cable route from the Danish landfalls to the future artificial island location.

The company plans to send its survey vessels to conduct geophysical and geotechnical surveys in March. The scope of works will include remotely operated vehicle inspections and shallow geotechnical investigations with the Blue Snake geotechnical system.

The Blue Snake geotechnical system is designed to integrate both cone penetration testing and sampling technology, and aims to optimise data correlation and improve design and engineering for future cable installation works.

Fugro said that the technology can capture all the data in a single pass, with testing completed consecutively at fixed distances along the cable route.

Fugro commercial manager Mathijs Hogerwerf said: “Energinet will benefit from our integrated services by enhanced safety and improved project efficiency.

“Our vessels, equipment, planning and execution methods meet the needs of such a complex assignment and will also help us manage difficult metocean conditions.”

In brief

Leeward Renewable Energy secures funding for Colorado wind farm

Leeward Renewable Energy has secured financing of around $190m for the construction of its 145MW Panorama Wind Farm in Weld County, Colorado. The financing includes a construction loan, a back leverage term loan commitment and a tax equity bridge loan.

Vestas recovers from cyber attack and data breach

IIntegrated wind company Vestas has started recovering data after a cyber security breach of internal systems. In order to minimise the issue, the company shut down its IT systems “across multiple business units and locations”.

Shell to acquire 51% stake in floating wind project in Ireland

Shell has signed an agreement with Irish renewable energy developer Simply Blue Group to acquire a 51% stake in the Western Star venture. The 1.3GW floating wind project will be developed by Simply Blue Group and Shell personnel in two phases.

UKCI and Norfund to support wind portfolio in South Africa

Norfund and the UK Climate Investments (UKCI) have agreed to invest in a joint venture to fund its 40% participation in the development of a 700MW onshore wind portfolio in South Africa. The joint venture belongs to two local companies, H1 Holdings and Pele Green Energy.