Statkraft has entered the UK solar market with a partnership with specialists in the field, UK Power Associates (UKPA).
Statkraft’s agreement with UKPA will complement its extensive UK onshore wind development pipeline, already comprising around 400MW in planning and marks the first step towards the company adding solar capacity, to its UK portfolio.
A challenge for modern electrical systems is to balance changing electricity demand profiles together with a move from large, fossil fuel generators towards smaller, intermittent renewable energy sources like the wind and sun.
Developments in battery technology and ancillary grid services equipment offer new solutions for this problem, something that Statkraft is following closely.
David Flood Managing Director of Statkraft UK said: “We are extremely happy to partner with UK Power Associates Ltd; this is a big step forward for us to strengthen our presence in solar within the UK.”
His colleague Richard Mardon, Head of Development Statkraft UK added the move was a good first stage in bigger ambitions: “With three sites already selected for potential development, amounting to over 300MW, this partnership represents a great way of jump-starting our solar development activity,”
UKPA who have expertise in developing solar parks and have also identified the possibility of co-locating battery storage projects and ancillary grid services.
Jimmy Blackburn, Engineering Director UKPA said: “UKPA are delighted to partner with Statkraft, who have the passion and capability to progress our pipeline of renewable and grid integration projects. The combination of batteries, ancillary grid services with solar and wind power systems will provide significantly more stable energy supplies, as well as more efficient use of existing grid capacity.”
Statkraft believes that solar and storage have a key role to play in smart energy systems. The UK is building its battery storage capabilities and new storage technologies, in order to reduce the problem of meeting peaks in demand and dampen wholesale price volatility.
The aim is for the first site to be operational by 2023. The agreement thereby offers a real contribution to the urgent action needed for the UK to lead the green recovery.
Statkraft was advised by the law firm Burges Salmon’s Renewable Energy Team.