Spain’s top IPP hopeful Solaria signs 105MW PPA with energy trader Alpiq

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Image credit: Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente

Solaria, which has ambitions to become Spain’s top solar IPP over the next few years, has lined up support for a utility-scale pipeline in the country, the last of a series this year.

Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente said this week it has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to sell the output from three PV installations with a total capacity of 105MW to Swiss energy trader Alpiq.

In a statement, the firm explained the 10-year PPA will kick in once the 200GWh-a-year three plants – two in the Castilla y León region, another in Castilla-La Mancha – go live, which is due to happen next year.

The PPA with Alpiq marks the latest move of Solaria’s busy 2019. In June, the firm shared plans to become Spain’s largest solar IPP by 2023, eyeing a 3.325GW installed portfolio by that year.

Approached by this publication in July, Solaria spelled out the practical steps it will follow to hit the target, including focusing on 20-40MW projects and tapping into its manufacturing roots.

As head of investor relations David Guengant explained at the time, the firm plans to be “patient” on the PPA front, waiting if necessary to find prominent offtakers it can negotiate better prices with.

Back in July, Guengant described an under-construction 400MW pipeline the firm was focusing on at the time in Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha and Aragón, powered by Risen modules and others.

Contacted again this week, the firm told PV Tech the 400MW includes an auction-backed 255MW co-financed by Natixis and a further 108.5MW section covered by a PPA with oil major Repsol.

The remaining 36.5MW of the total 400MW will be covered by the 10-year, 105MW PPA now being signed with Alpiq, Solaria went on to say.

The firm launched in 2002 as a solar module and panel manufacturer but shifted to downstream deployment when upstream prospects soured, amid regulatory u-turns in Spain and the rising competition from Chinese players.

As Guengant explained to PV Tech in July, Solaria believes the past as manufacturer will help with its 3.325GW-by-2023 solar ambitions.

“Having made modules ourselves we like to directly purchase the components we then hand over to EPCs,” he commented at the time. “We typically send people to China to verify quality – because we understand the materials, we’re fairly confident that we’ve got a good picture of costs.”

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in Europe and beyond will take centre stage at Solar Media's Solar Finance & Investment Europe (London, 5-6 February) and Large Scale Solar Europe 2020 (Lisbon, on 31 March-1 April 2020).

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