UPDATE - Mercedes-Benz signs wind PPA in Poland

Taczalin park. Copyright: VSB Group.

August 2 (Renewables Now) - From 2019 a plant in Poland producing four-cylinder engines for Mercedes-Benz will run on wind power from a nearby park, under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) announced on Tuesday.

The Polish unit of German renewable energy projects developer VSB Holding GmbH said it will be selling power from the 45.1-MW Taczalin wind farm to the Daimler AG (ETR:DAI) subsidiary’s manufacturing site in the town of Jawor. The wind park has 22 Senvion turbines and has been operational since late 2013.

In Poland, the green certificate scheme allows renewable energy producers to sell their electricity on the energy exchange. For VSB it was easy to offer a PPA to Mercedes-Benz instead of selling on the exchange.

“The PPA enables both parties to hedge themselves against fluctuation of prices on the market,” Thomas Winkler, Head of Corporate Transactions at VSB Holding GmbH, tells Renewables Now. He said that from the beginning it was important to the customer to source its energy locally. The Taczalin wind farm is located very close to the Mercedes-Benz plant, at a distance of around 10 km.

“Our job as project developer far exceeds putting a wind turbine in a field. We develop business models that make energy from renewable sources attractive for high-volume consumers and customers from the industrial sector,” said Marko Lieske, VSB Managing Director, on announcing the deal earlier this week.

The company has one more operational wind farm in Poland -- the 30.75-MW Lipniki park in Opolskie -- and it has several projects under development which are also suitable for PPA contracts. Following the Mercedes-Benz deal, VSB expects increased interest in Polish wind energy projects and it is already in “first talks” regarding further PPA opportunities.

“The contract with Mercedes-Benz is a high-profile agreement which has the potential to become a blueprint for further transactions within the automotive industry and other sectors. Due to the strong industrialisation of Poland there is a huge demand for clean energy within the production sector and VSB intends to further support the decarbonisation of production with its solutions,” said Winkler.

At the end of 2017, Poland had 6.4 GW of wind power generation capacity, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). “The good wind resource in Poland and the possibility to build a wind farm big enough to satisfy the demand of the Mercedes-Benz factory speaks for the significant potential of the market,” Winkler noted.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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