GDF SUEZ Energy Secures 15-Year Biomass Energy Agreement

Business energy specialist GDF SUEZ Energy UK has been awarded two new power purchase agreements (PPAs) – one by BWSC East Anglia Limited and one by Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Limited. 

The first agreement is to buy electricity generated by the Snetterton biomass plant in Norfolk when it opens in late 2016. Operated by BWSC East Anglia Limited, and backed by 100% funding from CI (Copenhagen Infrastructure) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), the 44.2MW renewable energy facility will generate electricity by burning primarily straw.

GDF SUEZ Energy UK will buy all of the 350GWh of electricity exported to National Grid from the Snetterton plant each year. That’s enough to meet the annual needs of up to 68,000 homes.

Paul Roberts, GDF SUEZ Energy – “These new agreements are the first PPAs we have secured for biomass plants, having previously focused on wind power and energy-from-waste technologies”

On the back of this contract, Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Limited, which is wholly owned and funded by CI, awarded GDF SUEZ Energy UK an identical PPA for the new Templeborough (formerly named Brite) biomass plant in Rotherham. Expected to be commissioned in March 2017, this 39.3MW plant will burn waste wood to generate 315GWh of electricity each year – all of which will be purchased by GDF SUEZ Energy UK.

BWSC East Anglia Limited and Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Limited have agreed 15-year PPAs with GDF SUEZ Energy UK for both plants, providing long-term assurances of a regular income. GDF SUEZ Energy UK will buy the output from Snetterton and Templeborough at an index-linked rate, providing a market-reflective price for every kWh of electricity generated. To provide an assured return on investment, the PPAs also include a floor price, guaranteeing a minimum rate for the output from both plants.

Power purchase agreements are essential to the viability of any new renewable energy plant. Funders of these major infrastructure projects need concrete assurances that the money they invest will be repaid through the sale of energy to a reliable, experienced and credit-worthy offtaker.

GDF SUEZ Energy UK has built up a strong reputation as a leading player in the power purchasing arena, having secured agreements with several major renewable energy plants in recent years.

Paul Roberts, Head of Local Portfolio Management at GDF SUEZ Energy UK, says: “These new agreements are the first PPAs we have secured for biomass plants, having previously focused on wind power and energy-from-waste technologies. It demonstrates the flexibility of our PPAs, which present an attractive and secure proposition for any type of renewable energy plant.”

Rúni Bro Róin, Senior Partner at CI, says: “We’re pleased to have found the basis for cooperation with a strong and reputable partner like GDF SUEZ, which will be the sole purchaser of energy from both Snetterton and Templeborough”.

GDF SUEZ Energy UK will also purchase all ROC and LEC certificates received by the two plants, which will help the energy supplier to meet its own sustainable sourcing commitments under the government’s Renewables Obligation.

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