A current Ignitis Group solar park in Lithuania. The company is targeting 4GW of installed renewables capacity by 2030. Image: Ignitis Group.
Lithuanian state-owned energy company Ignitis Group has signed an agreement to acquire solar parks in Poland with a total capacity of up to 170MW from developer Sun Investment Group (SIG).
The deal, which has been carried out through the Ignitis Renewables subsidiary, represents the largest solar park transaction in Central Europe this year, the companies said.
SIG is due to complete the turnkey portfolio of projects in the south of Poland between 2021 and 2023, with each plant eligible for a 15-year support mechanism to ensure the stability of electricity pricing. The parks are expected to generate around 190GWh of electricity annually.
The deal follows the announcement last year that SIG plans to build a 600MW solar pipeline in Poland. The firm is currently developing more than 1GWp of PV projects in the Baltics, Italy and Spain.
“The agreement with an international energy company Ignitis Group proves that we are significantly contributing to the development of green energy in Europe,” Deividas Varabauskas, SIG CEO, said.
While the main driver of Poland’s recent solar growth has been small-scale self-consumption, a recent report from the country’s Institute of Renewable Energy says utility-scale PV projects awarded contracts in auctions held in 2018-19 will start to come on stream next year, helping propel the market to an estimated 7.8GW by 2025.
Ignitis lines up IPO to spur renewables growth
For Ignitis, the acquisition comes a week after it revealed plans to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) in Vilnius, Lithuania, and London in October. The company intends to have a free float of 25 - 33.33% of its issued share capital, while Lithuania’s Ministry of Finance will remain the controlling shareholder with at least 66.67%.
Part of the proceeds from the listing are intended to help the company increase its renewables capacity from its current 1.1GW level to 1.6 – 1.8GW by 2023 and eventually 4GW by 2030.
Lithuanian finance minister Vilius Šapoka said the planned IPO represents an “exciting chapter” in the development of the country’s economy. “An IPO of Ignitis Group would provide the investment needed to ensure both Lithuania’s and the wider Baltic region’s energy security and to help achieve the decarbonisation targets of these countries over the coming decades. Furthermore, it would deepen and improve the liquidity of our capital markets, attracting fresh capital into our dynamic economy.”