Norwegian utility Statkraft and German automotive giant Daimler have finalised a in-the-works power purchase agreement (PPA) to run their manufacturing facilities and offices solely on green electricity supplied round-the-clock by wind, solar and hydropower.
The power for the PPA will come from a fleet of 24 post-subsidy wind farms as well as a portion of the solar production from Schornhof PV complex in the south of Germany, together equal to the electricity consumed by some 65,000 households.
The PPA with Daimler, owner of the luxury Mercedes brand, from the wind and solar plants are based on the "Pure Statkraft" model developed by the utility that integrates large volumes of wind, solar and hydropower from Germany with flexible storage power plants in Norway “to ensure simultaneity between consumption and generation at all times”.
The combination of wind and solar enables both the construction of new PV plants without subsidies and the plannable continued post-subsidy operation of existing wind plants.
"Generating green power exactly when it is needed is a major challenge, especially if intermittent generation from wind and solar is to be integrated,” said Patrick Koch, head of Statkraft’s German origination business.
“Therefore, the green power package is supplemented with electricity from flexible hydropower plants. Such a green power concept on this scale is unique in Germany so far.
“We are proud to be able to offer industrial companies needs-based solutions that enable them to sustainably reduce CO2 emissions and achieve their set climate targets.”
Stakraft is working on the Daimler deal with Enovos, which holds the electricity supply contract with Daimler. The Luxembourgian power group will run the energy management process, including physical delivery, balancing group management, billing, grid usage, consumption forecasting and hedging, to match 100% clean-energy production “to proven and market-oriented procurement and supply model”.
Progress on the deal first agreed in concept in January, moves ahead wider partnership between the three companies via a CO2-neutral energy supply plan first tested in 2018.
The announcement is the latest step example of industrial players decarbonising operations with clean energy, with advocacy body WindEurope highlighting that “by combining wind, solar and hydro Daimler and Statkraft are showing that renewables can deliver stable and reliable power to industry, in this case to a core part of Europe’s manufacturing base”.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “This is a fantastic deal. Daimler get clean energy. Europe’s biggest industry take a big step forward in cutting its emissions. 24 wind farms get a new customer and can keep running free of public support. The wind is combined with solar and hydro to give 24/7 stable power.
“And Europe gets a perfect model for how cheap and reliable renewables can decarbonise the economy.”
Dickson noted however that there were “still barriers to PPAs in many countries: for example, energy-intensive industries in Germany are unnecessarily penalised today if they sign a corporate renewable PPA”.
“And some governments withhold the necessary guarantees of origin that underpin the PPAs by providing the traceability of renewable energy.”