Finnish wind project reaches fin close as hygiene co Ecolab seals VPPA

Wind park. Author: Santi Villamarín. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

April 4 (Renewables Now) - US water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions provider Ecolab Inc (NYSE:ECL) said today it has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) that will support the construction of a 29.5-MW wind park in Finland.

Specifically, Ecolab will buy electricity from the five-turbine Mörknässkogen wind farm that is being developed by renewables investor and asset manager Low Carbon on the west coast of Finland. The plant is expected to become operational by the end of next year, at which point it will be producing some 100 GWh of power a year.

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Separately, Low Carbon announced it had achieved financial close on that very same project near the city of Vaasa. According to that statement, the contract with Ecolab has a term of 10 years and in addition to it, there is a route-to-market and balancing PPA in place with Axpo.

European infrastructure and energy financing specialist Kommunalkredit Austria AG has served as a sole mandated lead arranger in a EUR-24.8-million (USD 27.3m) senior financing facility for the project.

The scheme, which envisages utilising Nordex turbines of the 5.9-MW N163 model, forms part of Low Carbon’s exclusive development pipeline that exceeds 120 MW across Finland.

Meanwhile, the contract will allow Ecolab to supply all of its European sites, including 15 major offices, 26 manufacturing facilities and seven RD&E centres, it said.

In a similar move at the end of 2018, Ecolab inked a 100-MW wind VPPA with Clearway Energy Group, thus helping the latter build its 419-MW Mesquite Star wind farm in Fisher County, Texas. That particular investment added enough renewables to cover 100% of the company’s operations across North America, it noted today.

Combined, the two contracts will result in Ecolab sourcing almost 80%, up from 58%, of its power from renewables. The ultimate goal is to achieve 100% renewable electricity globally by 2030.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.101)

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