Pathfinder Clean Energy establishes 100MWp Poland pipeline

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PACE also recently received planning permission for its first UK project, Three Bridges. Image: PACE

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE) has created a new solar development and project acquisition business, PACE Poland, targeting an initial 100MWp in the country.

Having conducted what it described as detailed market and technical analysis in Poland over the last 18 months, it has identified this initial 100MWp tranche of early-stage solar, which it said it is now advancing.

The sites are located across the north of Poland and are to connect to the high voltage grid lines with the Enea and Energa grid operators. The first phase of projects should be able to achieve connection from 2022, subject to planning and financing.

Alex Ross, development director of PACE, said that the company has worked to “digitise the constraints in the country to enable our team to evaluate opportunities quickly”.

“Poland’s development process does have its challenges with certain grid confirmations coming later in the process but given the government’s policy commitment to renewables and its 2030 targets, this is the right time for PACE to bring its expertise for the long term.”

The move to develop in the country – the fourth market PACE has established an office in since its inception in 2017 – coincides with the Polish government’s publication of its Energy Policy to 2040.

This will see a reduction in coal generation and an increase in renewables, with solar targeted to increase from 3.6GW to between 5GW and 7GW by 2030. By 2040, the roadmap targets 10-16GW of installed PV, however trade associations last week suggested the targets outlined underestimate solar.

The Polish Photovoltaic Industry Association’s president Bogdan Szymański stated that when taking into account solar deployment figures, with the country having around 3,662MW of installed PV as of 31 December 2020 and over 2,362MW of this coming online last year, “one may come to the conclusion that with the continuation of a growth trend, Poland may achieve the goal of 5-7GW in the next few years”.

This new 100MWp being developed by PACE adds to its existing development pipeline of over 1GW, with the first 67MWp of projects in the UK to enter operation this year.

It last week revealed it has received planning permission for its 21MW Three Bridges solar farm, which is to be co-located with energy storage.

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