June 19, 2024

Equinor Builds 53 MW Solar Plant in Poland

Wento, an Equinor subsidiary, has started testing production at Lipno, a 53 MW solar project located in the Wielkopolskie province of Poland. With the addition of this third solar facility, Equinor's onshore renewables capacity in Poland now stands at almost 200 MW.

Europe’s Fastest-growing Renewable Energy Market


Equinor has begun test production at Lipno, its third solar plant in Poland, located in the Wielkopolskie province in central Poland. Developed and to be operated by Wento, Equinor’s wholly-owned subsidiary, the 53 MW solar plant increases Equinor’s onshore renewables capacity in the country to approximately 200 MW. This expansion strengthens its position in one of Europe’s fastest-growing renewable energy markets.

In 2021, Equinor acquired Wento and its 1.6 GW pipeline of solar projects. Over the next three years, Wento expanded from a small-scale solar developer to a multi-technology power producer, now operating three solar plants and one onshore wind park in Poland with a combined capacity of around 200 MW.

Anders Bade, the senior vice president for onshore and markets within Renewables at Equinor, notes that Wento's progress highlights how Equinor leverages investments in local development companies to build a substantial and profitable onshore renewables business in selected markets. "Wento's path demonstrates how we use our investments in regional development firms to create a significant and lucrative onshore renewables company in certain regions,” he said.

Powering 140,000 Polish Households


The portfolio managed by Wento generates an estimated 280 GWh of power annually, equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 140,000 Polish households. Equinor’s energy trading subsidiary, Danske Commodities, has signed a balancing agreement with the Lipno solar plant and will handle the commercialization of its power in the Polish market. This arrangement builds upon Danske Commodities' nearly 15 years of power trading experience in Poland, ensuring effective route-to-market for Wento’s operational assets.

Anders Bade highlights their distinctive business model, which not only facilitates the efficient scaling of their onshore renewables portfolio but also enhances value through optimized power trading strategies.

Following the acquisition, Wento has expanded its project pipeline significantly, more than doubling it to encompass over 3 GW of opportunities at different stages of development. This expanded pipeline now includes not only power generation projects but also battery storage initiatives, aimed at increasing flexibility and unlocking additional value.

Wojciech Cetnarski, CEO of Wento, highlights that Poland is actively advancing its renewable energy sector to bolster domestic power capacity and enhance energy security. This presents a promising opportunity for Wento and Equinor to play a prominent role in a rapidly growing renewable energy market.

“Poland is making great efforts to develop renewable energy sources in order to boost energy security and improve domestic power capacity. This offers Wento and Equinor a thrilling chance to take the lead in a developing renewable energy sector,” Cetnarski remarked.
 

Ensuring Future Grid Stability for Poland


Earlier this year, Wento secured a victory in the Polish Capacity Market Auction by winning contracts for four battery storage projects totalling approximately 400 MW/1.6 GWh. Michał Jerzy Kołodziejczyk, Equinor’s country manager in Poland, anticipates final investment decisions for these projects within the coming years. He emphasizes the critical role of battery storage systems in ensuring future grid stability for Poland as the nation expands its renewable energy capacity.

“Equinor wants to help Poland through its energy transition and be a dependable energy partner. We are expanding the nation's energy supply and generating sources to provide a wide range of energy options,” Michał added.

Equinor's strategic expansion in Poland through its subsidiary Wento underscores its commitment to advancing renewable energy infrastructure. The commissioning of the Lipno solar plant, along with significant developments in solar and wind energy projects, highlights Equinor's growing footprint in Poland's renewable sector. With a burgeoning portfolio that now includes advanced battery storage solutions, Equinor is poised not only to meet Poland's increasing energy demands sustainably but also to contribute significantly to the nation's energy security and transition towards a cleaner future.


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