Tom Glover, Chief Commercial Officer at RWE Renewables says: “With this deal, we are demonstrating our extensive capabilities as a leading integrated renewables player, ranging from project development, construction, operations to commercialisation. The agreement underlines our expertise in bringing green electricity to the market on the basis of bilateral power purchase agreements and we are delighted to establish long-term partnerships with front runners like Sofidel; demonstrating how climate protection is possible under market conditions.”
RWE’s renewable energy business in Italy is forging ahead: The company has completed the construction of its new onshore wind farm Alcamo II in Sicily. The green electricity produced by this wind farm has already been contracted to the Italian Sofidel Group on a long-term basis as part of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Sofidel is one of the largest producers of paper for hygienic and domestic uses in the world, particularly well-known for its brand ‘Regina’. The contract enabled RWE to build this wind farm without having to rely on state subsidies. For its part, thanks to the agreement, Sofidel will come a great deal closer to meeting its ambitious climate protection goals and strengthens its commitment to a sustainable future for people and planet.
The new wind farm consists of four Goldwind turbines (GW 136-3.4MW) with a total installed capacity of 13.6 megawatts (MW). The PPA with Sofidel enabled the realisation of Alcamo II by providing financial stability through contracting 26 gigawatt hours per year as the sole corporate off-taker. As part of the deal, Sofidel purchases all the guarantees of origin this wind park produces. The long-term contract started in early-April 2021 and will run until end of 2030.
Sofidel regards this long-term partnership as a responsible way to promote a multi-stakeholder approach for sustainable development. “The agreement with RWE represents a major step toward our carbon footprint reduction goals. Sofidel emissions reduction targets – -40% emissions per ton of paper by 2030 compared with 2018 base year – have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” states Riccardo Balducci, Sofidel Energy & Environment Director. “This is also in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. In our commitment to a low carbon economy we regard PPAs as an useful and effective tool to source renewable power for our industrial operations and, at the same time, trigger the creation of additional generation capacity, aimed at sustaining the green energy transition.”
Katja Wünschel, Chief Operating Officer Wind Onshore & Photovoltaics Europe & Asia Pacific at RWE Renewables, adds: “Italy is one of our core markets. The country is seeing continued expansion of renewables and we are happy to contribute to this development with our Alcamo II wind farm and future projects. I am particularly pleased that, in cooperation with Sofidel, we have succeeded in building this wind farm without any state subsidies. In addition it is worldwide our first wind farm for which we used turbines from the manufacturer Goldwind. During the successful realisation of this project, our Italian team gained a lot of experience, which will help us to further broaden our supplier portfolio globally.”
RWE has many years of extensive experience in the renewables sector. In its strategic core market of Italy a team of more than 100 employees covers the entire value chain from project development, engineering, construction and operation up to the delivering of green electricity to corporations such as Sofidel through PPAs. In addition to the wind farms already in operation with a capacity of around 442 MW (pro-rata view), the Italian development pipeline includes further renewables projects in various stages of development and spread across the entire country. Globally, RWE currently has a renewables portfolio of more than 9 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity. From 2020 until 2022, RWE Renewables targets to invest €5 billion net in renewable energy and to grow its global renewables portfolio to 13 GW of net capacity.