BayWa Q1 revenue boosted by solar module trading ‘boom’

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A solar project from BayWa r.e. in Poland. Image: BayWa r.e.

German conglomerate BayWa benefited from high demand for solar modules during the first quarter of 2022, with its revenues bolstered by the sale of an operational PV plant in the US.

“The boom in trading of photovoltaic modules is continuing unabated”, the company said as it benefited from “brisk demand” during Q1, helping its BayWa r.e. division almost double earnings before income and taxes (EBIT) year-on-year to €63.9 million (US$67.4 million)

BayWa r.e., which focuses on the development of renewables projects and trading of PV components, posted Q1 revenues of €1.6 billion, a 141% increase on the same quarter of 2021.

The positive results come after the solar distribution unit sold “multiple gigawatts” of modules and inverters in 2021, during which time BayWa r.e. expanded its solar distribution network in Europe by opening new warehouses in the Netherlands and Poland.

BayWa said its performance also benefited from the sale of the 266MWdc Corazon I solar park and project rights to the 200MW / 400MWh Guajillo energy storage plant, both of which are located in Texas and have been bought by Italian energy company Eni.

The Corazon I plant began operations last year, while the Guajillo storage project will use the same interconnection facilities and support the grid by storing energy when generation is high and delivering it during periods of peak consumption. The energy storage asset is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

When the sale was announced, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects CEO Fred Robinson said the deal will allow the company to reinvest capital in its development pipeline across the US, including plants in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas area.

BayWa r.e.’s energy trading unit also performed well during Q1 as it benefited from high electricity prices and the expansion of the company’s independent power producer business.

BayWa, which also has agriculture and building materials businesses, recorded total Q1 revenues of around €6.3 billion, a 54% jump on the same quarter last year, while EBIT was up 221% to €144.9 million.

“We have gone straight from the coronavirus pandemic into an energy crisis. In a market environment dominated by volatility and uncertainty, BayWa is proving itself to be extremely robust,” said CEO Klaus Josef Lutz.

BayWa r.e. is planning to realise more than 1GW of solar and wind projects this year as it heightens its focus on subsidy-free projects, with countries such as Spain and the Netherlands set to be key markets for its PV development unit this year.

The company last month signed a power purchase agreement with Nestlé for the 50MW Picón solar park in central Spain that will generate 62GWh of solar energy per year to power the food company’s operations in the Iberian Peninsula.

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