In July 2008, one of the six projects included in the annex of the Paris Declaration was the “Alternative Energies: Mediterranean Solar Plan” which aimed to develop 20GW by 2020.
The ultimate goal of the plan was to provide the opportunity for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and to meet the global energy demands. The plans helped kick-start large-scale PV project development, tapping into the vast potential the Mediterranean possesses.
1) Matrix Renewables (Spain)
The TPG-backed renewables developer are one of the key players in the European solar market with a portfolio of projects located in Spain, Italy, and France. The Madrileño-based solar developer has developed 1.8GW of solar energy, with a project pipeline in the excess of 2.3GW.
Matrix Renewables first entered the Spanish market in 2020 thanks to the acquisition of PV projects from Trina Solar and Rolwind. In the following 18 months, the group developed 975MW of solar energy.
In February 2022, Matrix cemented their position as a leading Spanish solar developer with further projects in the south of Spain. The 50MW Jaen site will be used to supply power to fellow European giant Statkraft, with a 10-year PPA beginning in the second half of 2022.
The Spanish-based group continued their European expansion with entry into the Italian solar market in 2021 thanks to a JV with Horus Green Investment. The duo will develop 420MW of solar projects located across Sicily and Lazio.
Since their initial entry into the Italian solar market Matrix have amassed a portfolio in the excess of 1GW in different stages of development, highlighting their position as a market leader in European solar development.
2) Cero Generation (United Kingdom)
With a solar portfolio in the excess of 8GW, Cero Generation are amongst Europe’s leading solar energy developers. The London-based solar developer is an independent portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. Cero have a strong Italian presence with over 1.5GW of their installed capacity coming from projects located across Italy.
Their first project dates back to October 2021 with project Bolotana, a 6MW PV plant in Sardinia with a further 9MW to be added later this year. Their latest Italian project is located in Pontinia, in May 2022 the solar group announced the completion of their deal to develop a 70MW agrivoltaic project.
Cero Generation are also responsible for the development of large-scale PV projects in France and Spain with an installed capacity of 2.5GW and 1.3GW respectively.
In July 2022, the group unveiled the first Greek solar project with a private PPA. The 100MW Delfini site represents a cornerstone in Cero’s Greek portfolio which is focusing on delivering large-scale European PV projects to combat the ongoing energy crisis.
3) STEAG (Germany)
The Würzburg-based group are amongst the leading global developers of solar energy, with over 8,000 installations across 40 countries. The majority of the group’s projects are dispersed across the Mediterranean with parks located in Spain, Italy, and Greece.
The German group have been able to rely on successful partnerships with European renewables players such as LSG, KGAL, and Aquila capital to deliver successful PV projects. STEAG have a strong Italian presence with an installed just under 1GW, with future plans to develop 3GW by 2025.
The majority of their current installed capacity is due to their 700MW Sicilian project which was completed at the end of 2021 in cooperation with KGAL. The Emilia Romagna project relies on the 10 hours of sunshine the region offers per day and will produce 25m kWh of renewable electricity per year.
STEAG also takes advantage of the hours of sunshine the med offers with PV parks located in Greece, as the country offers 348 days and 2,800 hours of sunshine per year. STEAG and Austrian group LSG will develop 480MW of solar energy in 2022, consisting of 25 sub-projects.
STEAG first started developing solar projects in Greece in 2010 and thanks to the country’s plan to develop 10GW of wind and solar projects by 2030, the German group will no doubt aim to play their part in helping them achieve this goal.
Image Source Unsplash 10.11.22