Hamburg-based companies Thüga Erneuerbare Energien GmbH (THEE) and the CEE Group have signed off on a memorandum of understanding that will see both entities jointly operate large-scale photovoltaic plants in Germany without subsidies.
Over the coming years, THEE and CEE plan to jointly realise and operate several large-scale PV plants with a total capacity of 500MW in Germany.
THEE, the development and investment arm of the Thüga Group in regards to renewable energy, already has access to several suitable sites across multiple German federal states, and also brings planning and energy management expertise as well as operator know-how to this new cooperation.
The Thüga Group, the largest network of municipal utilities in Germany, stands as the preferred partner to provide long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for these new PV projects.
Thomas Walther, managing director of THEE said: “Solar energy is the technology of choice when it comes to implementing the first subsidy-free large-scale photovoltaic projects in Germany with long-term power purchase agreements, due to the very low production costs. In this context we are very pleased that we have found in CEE a financially strong and very experienced partner in the field of large-scale photovoltaic plants.”
CEE is one of the most active German investors in renewable energy, investing primarily in wind and solar assets across continental Europe. CEE also has an established history of acquiring, operating, maintaining and repowering large-scale PV projects across multiple markets. CEE will also provide capital, financing expertise and international market and transaction knowledge to the partnership.
Dr. Björn Keßel, director of business development at CEE, said: “In the context of the energy transition, it is remarkable that large-scale photovoltaic plants can now be operated in Germany solely on the basis of long-term power purchase agreements, without subsidies. We are pleased to have found in THEE a strong partner with complementary strengths including project development expertise and access to power purchase agreements.”
Keßel added: “As an asset manager which is active across Europe, CEE has gained valuable experience in the operation and optimization of large-scale photovoltaic plants and has developed efficient strategies to optimize performance over the entire operational life cycle of the plant.”
In Germany, the building momentum around zero-subsidy solar come as the industry nears a legal capacity threshold – 52GW – where feed-in tariffs, the chief growth engine of Europe's top PV market, would need to be phased out.