Photon Energy posts record revenue, eyes merchant solar opportunities

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An operational PV plant from Photon in Hungary. Image: Photon Energy Group.

Solar project developer and asset owner Photon Energy Group saw its revenue reach a new high last year thanks to the sale of electricity from its growing portfolio of PV plants.

Netherlands-headquartered Photon posted 2021 revenue of €36.4 million (US$41.1 million), a 29% increase year-on-year, with its portfolio now consisting of 90.5MWp of solar plants across four markets: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Australia. EBITDA grew 14% to €9.6 million.

In December, the company connected a 1.4MWp solar project in Hungary, the firm’s first European power plant to sell electricity on a merchant basis.

Given the growth in electricity prices across Europe, Photon said selling electricity into the market “is a core part of our strategy, and we believe that this is the right way of building and operating power plants going forward”.

In Q4, Photon secured a 1,200-hectare site in South Australia that it will use to build a 300MW solar plant featuring 3.6GWh of energy storage based on technology from RayGen, a Melbourne-based start-up that Photon acquired a minority interest in back in 2020.

In terms of project development in Europe, Photon last year more than doubled its pipeline in Hungary, Poland and Romania to 490MWp.

The company said while its focus for growth will be on expanding PV capacity in Australia, Hungary, Poland and Romania, it is also investigating further markets in Central Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa.

Alongside solar development and generation, the group has another major business line, Photon Water, which provides clean water solutions.

Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy Group, said the firm is looking to grow its behind-the-meter solar business, providing commercial customers solutions offered by Photon Water, adding: “This fits perfectly with our strategy to combine renewable energy and clean water in solutions for users of both.”

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