Equinor Expands Renewables Portfolio in Poland with New Solar Plant

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(Equinor, 18.Jun.2024) — Equinor’s third solar plant in Poland, Lipno has started test production. This brings the company’s onshore renewables capacity in Poland to ~200 MW, and further strengthens its position in one of the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in Europe.

Lipno is located in the Wielkopolskie province in central Poland. The 53 MW solar plant was developed and will be operated by the Polish renewable power producer Wento, Equinor’s 100% subsidiary.

Material merchant portfolio

Equinor acquired Wento and its 1.6 GW pipeline of solar projects in 2021. Three years after the acquisition, Wento has grown from a small-scale solar developer into a multi-tech power producer operating three solar plants and one onshore wind park in Poland with a total capacity of ~200 MW.

“Wento’s journey showcases how we leverage our investments in local development companies to build a material and profitable onshore renewables business in select markets,” says Anders Bade, senior vice president for onshore and markets within Renewables at Equinor.

Accumulated annual production from the portfolio operated by Wento is estimated at approximately 280 GWh of power per year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 140,000 Polish households.

Equinor’s energy trading house Danske Commodities has signed a balancing agreement with the Lipno solar plant and will be responsible for commercializing the produced power in the Polish power market. Lipno is expected to yield returns in line with prior guidance for renewables in Equinor.

Danske Commodities provides route-to-market for Wento’s assets in operation, building upon almost 15 years of power trading experience in Poland.

“We have developed a distinct business model that allows us to efficiently scale our onshore renewables portfolio and create value uplift from power trading,” says Anders Bade.

Source: Equinor

Building for profitable growth

Since the acquisition, Wento has built on its project pipeline, effectively doubling it to over 3 GW of opportunities in various stages of maturity. The pipeline has been diversified beyond power generation to also include battery storage, which adds flexibility and enhances value creation potential.

“Poland is actively developing renewable energy to increase domestic power capacity and enhance energy security. For Wento and Equinor, this represents an exciting opportunity to be a leading player in a growing renewable energy market,” says Wojciech Cetnarski, CEO of Wento.

Earlier this year, Wento won the Polish Capacity Market Auction with four battery storage projects totalling about 400 MW/1,6 GWh.

The final investment decisions for the projects are expected in the next years. Battery storage systems will be key for Poland’s future grid stability as the country increases the share of renewable power.

Reliable energy partner for Poland

“Equinor aims to be a reliable energy partner for Poland and support its energy transition. We are building a broad energy offering in the country, diversifying generation sources and energy supplies,” says Michał Jerzy Kołodziejczyk, Equinor’s country manager in Poland.

In addition to investing in onshore renewables, Equinor is engaged in the development of three large-scale offshore wind projects Bałtyk I, Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III together with Polenergia. Equinor is also supplying natural gas from the Norwegian Continental Shelf to Poland via Baltic Pipe.


PHOTO CAPTION: Lipno is located in the Wielkopolskie province in central Poland. Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Equinor

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