Norway's Scatec Solar to add 1GW over next three years

Scatec Solar, the ambitious Norway-based solar developer, swelled its installed PV base by 75% in 2015, to 383MW, and expects to add more than 1GW over the next three years – with most of the new capacity to come in Africa.

Scatec, whose shares trade on the Oslo Stock Exchange, saw most of its 2015 capacity growth come from its 104MW Red Hills plant, commissioned in December in Utah. Red Hills, which uses JinkoSolar polycrystalline modules, represents Scatec’s largest project to date and its first completed in a mature solar market.

The remainder of Scatec’s existing capacity is spread across South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras and the Czech Republic.

Scatec, which turned a profit of NKr136m ($15.7m) in 2015 on sales of NKr881m, makes nearly all of its revenue through the sale of solar power through feed-in tariffs and PPAs once its plants are online, although it occasionally sells partially developed projects rather than bringing them to fruition.

Scatec expects to end 2018 with 1.4GW-1.6GW of solar capacity online or under construction, the company told investors Friday. The vast majority of that new capacity will come in Africa, with South Africa and Egypt representing the two largest markets in its pipeline.

In 2016 the company intends to bring 321MW into construction in Egypt, spread across five individual projects – one in which Scatec is lead developer, and the other four in which it holds equity stakes and will act as EPC and O&M contractor.

Last April Scatec was awarded preferred bidder status for three projects totaling 258MW in South Africa’s fourth renewables bidding round. Financial close at the Upington projects is expected in 2016 and construction is set to begin in 2017.

Shares of Scatec, which went public in October 2014, have risen more than 20% over the past year, a period in which many global solar giants saw declines. Japanese giant Itochu Corp. is among Scatec's largest shareholders.