Innogy SE, the renewable energy subsidiary of German utility RWE, has signed a share purchase agreement to takeover the solar and energy storage business of Belectric at a share price agreement in the “high double-digit million euro range”.
In addition, the takeover of Belectric’s utility-scale PV plants and batteries is “an important contribution to the expansion of the decentralised, renewable energy system of the future” according to RWE, who will be called Innogy SE from Septemeber 2016 onwards. As well as agreeing wtih Belectric Holding to buy the entire PV and battery business, all related companies are now bought into Belectric Solar and Battery Holding in order to strucuture the transaction, a RWE Innogy spokesperson said. Further, RWE is buying out the brand Belectric, while Belctric Holding will be renamed and will keep its real estate, OPV, automotive suppliers and electric mobility capabilities.
Belectric’s energy storage offering comes in the form of its Energy Buffer Unit (EBU) – a high-capacity lead-acid battery system that is used in the primary frequency response market. It has an output of 750kW/40 minutes, forming a reliable energy supply and efficient solution for grid stability, peak shaving and ramp rate control. According to the company, the EBU can be scaled to almost any required size and has potential to achieve an AC output into the multi-megawatt range.
The acquisition means significant growth for RWE, as Belectric has built more than 280 utility-scale PV plants and rooftop solar systems with a total installed capacity of more than 1.5 gigawatts peak (GWp). As well as focusing on the European market, Belectric’s solar and storage services expand over the MENA region, India, South America and the US, enabling RWE to signficantly widen its regional scope. In what the RWE spokesperson hailed as "the perfect stategic fit", the knowledge gained on the utility-PV side means that RWE is poised to become an international player in this key sector for renewables. As well as acquiring the design and construction of Belectric's large-scale PV plants, RWE is also gaining control of their OEM management/business, which the spokesperson assured is a "very important segment of the Belectric business".
“With Innogy we are creating the innovative, decentralised and sustainable energy company of the future,” said Peter Terium, CEO of RWE, in a statement. “The agreed acquisition of Belectric Solar & Battery fits this strategic orientation perfectly. Smart battery storage solutions make generating electricity from renewables both more efficient and more secure. In Belectric we are acquiring an innovative company that has built up an international strong market position. We are now combining our complementary strengths and creating additional impetus to successfully implement our projects in Europe and our growth regions – the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.”
Moving forward, the RWE spokesperson emphasises that nothing will change for Belectric customers, who will still receive the same quality of service. Belectric now just has acquired different shareholders. Practically speaking, it remains to be seen how Belectric's solar and storage business will be integrated into the RWE structure. The deal, which is scheduled to close early next year, is subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities and reorganizational measures.