Timing is everything, they say. Some might think that a global pandemic is the time to sit still and not rock the boat. Renewables company Scatec did the opposite, and made the greatest expansion since its establishment, by broadening their strategy and acquiring major hydro power player SN Power . Scatec’s ambition is to become a global large-scale player in solar, hydro, wind and storage solutions, and an integrator of high-value infrastructure solutions.

Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec argues that the expansion is well timed, considering how renewable markets have shown a remarkable resilience to the crisis.

“In contrast to all other fuels, renewable energy will grow by almost 7% in 2020, according to the IEA . COVID-19 has also had limited impact on our business and ability to deliver power to our customers. At the same time, ESG investments have skyrocketed, displaying an immense faith in the capability of green technology to solve climate change.”

Scatec is the single largest contributor to one of the world’s largest one-site solar parks, the 1.65 GW Benban Solar Park in Upper Egypt. Scatec utilises bi-facial solar modules, capturing the sun from both sides of the panel to increase the clean energy generation.

With SN Power integrated, the company will significantly increase scale and cash flow from operating plants and in 2021, Scatec will have a total of 3.3 GW in operation. In addition to acquiring hydro assets, Scatec is investing in other renewable energy solutions such as floating solar, storage and containerised solar through their Release concept.

Energy storage and integrating technologies on the rise

In 2020, Scatec completed its first solar hybrid plants for two UN organisations in South Sudan. The company further signed an MOU with battery company FREYR for future supply of battery cells for cost-optimised energy storage systems. Scatec will support FREYR in their development of energy storage systems with higher energy density, improved safety and lower cost compared to storage systems based on conventional lithium-ion battery cells.

“Cost efficient battery storage will increase the renewable penetration significantly in electricity markets world-wide and technology- and product advancements in the storage space are important to strengthen and diversify access to cost competitive batteries,” says Carlsen.

Hydro reservoirs can be utilised to host floating solar plants, a compelling strategic benefit to the acquisition of hydro power player SN Power. The photo depicts the Magat Floating Solar project in the Philippines. Photo: SN Power

In addition to storage, including a wider range of technologies will enable the company to explore synergies such as floating solar on hydro reservoirs, and connecting wind farms with solar plants combined with pumped storage for optimised power supply.

A solid foundation to build on

The broadened growth strategy is accompanied by the name change from Scatec Solar to Scatec, and a new logo and profile. They are building on a solid foundation, both in terms of its current brand and financial position. Their strong financial position is evident through the completion of two successful private placements in 2020, and refinanced credit facilities at attractive terms, including a new USD 90 million ESG-linked facility.

“Scatec is a strong name, while the new logo represents a broader direction and increased pace, with units combined to symbolise people and technologies working together. The colours represent renewal, and the profile in its entirety is clear, bold and visually striking, with clear connotations to renewable energy,” Carlsen concludes.