Microsoft, Google and Renault were among corporate giants that separately swooped for output from almost 1.5GW of renewables in a bumper week for green power deals spanning onshore and offshore wind and solar.
The string of announcements is a shot in the arm for a European market for corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) that wind and solar industry bodies said last month had shown a year-on-year decline in the first three quarters of 2022.
Microsoft announced the largest chunk of deals covering 900MW of wind and solar in Ireland to help power its data centre operations there. The multi-year agreements with Statkraft, Energia Group and Power Capital Renewable Energy will between them meet 30% of the Irish government’s target for corporate PPAs by 2030, said the software group.
Fellow US tech giant Google made its move for output from 100MW of the 900MW Moray West offshore wind farm being built by Ocean Winds off Scotland and due in service by 2025. Google signed the PPA with Engie, which runs Ocean Winds as a 50/50 joint venture with EDPR, adding to a string of power deals the web behemoth has agreed with the French energy group.
A second European offshore wind corporate PPA came when steelmaker Salzgitter Group took 50MW of output from EnBW’s 900MW He Dreiht project off Germany.
The two offshore deals underlined the importance of corporate offtakers as a route to sell power outside of government support. The majority of Moray West’s capacity is not covered by a contract-for-difference (CfD) deal with the UK government, while He Dreiht is entirely subsidy-free.
EnBW board member Georg Stamatelopoulos said: “Salzgitter represents the third strong partner we have secured for our offshore wind farm. Long-term PPAs secure the necessary investment while also enabling energy-intensive companies to achieve ambitious climate targets.”
Automotive group Renault’s green power swoop came for 350MW of output from projects operated by French developer Voltalia, representing 500GWh annually over 15 years – an agreement said to be France’s largest ever corporate PPA deal.
The solar output will by 2027 cover up to half of Renault’s power consumption in France, said Voltalia.