Blue Elephant Energy, UKA partner to develop 500MWp of solar in Germany

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A solar project in Greece that Blue Elephant Energy recently acquired. Image: ABO Wind.

Hamburg-based solar operator Blue Elephant Energy has joined forces with renewables developer Umweltgerechte Kraftanlagen (UKA) to develop a 500MWp solar portfolio in Germany.

The portfolio consists of 11 PV projects in an advanced development stage that have capacities between 20MWp and 130MWp and will be built in the states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

UKA will develop the plants until they reach ready-to-build status. After construction, the projects will remain part of Blue Elephant’s asset portfolio. It is expected the first projects will be complete in early 2023, with revenues to be secured via long-term power purchase agreements.

While UKA has primarily been focused on the development and operation of wind farms, it has increased its activities in the solar sector since 2019. Having previously sold wind projects to Blue Elephant, the latest announcement marks the first solar partnership between the two companies.

The deal will enable Blue Elephant Energy to “significantly expand its German portfolio in a stable and currently very attractive market for PV electricity without bearing risks from project development”, said Tim Kallas, the company’s chief investment officer.

With a renewables portfolio of more than 1.1GW, Blue Elephant Energy acquires and operates solar and wind projects in eight countries, including the Netherlands, Italy and Chile. It entered the Greek market earlier this year with the acquisition of two solar parks totalling 45MWp.

Figures from SolarPower Europe reveal that Germany installed 4.8GW of PV last year, more than any other European market, with its largest subsidy-free solar project, the 187MW Weesow-Willmersdorf facility developed by utility EnBW, connected to the grid in November.

As part of its national energy and climate plan, Germany is aiming to reach 98GW of installed solar PV capacity by 2030.

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