Irish developer Aer Soléir has signed an investment and co-development deal for 510MW of battery storage projects in Italy with Turin-headquartered Altea Green Power.
The pair signed a Share Purchase Agreement along with co-development agreements relating to four large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects last week.
Aer Soléir said the development work is already completed on each of them and the Dublin-based company has bought the sites from Altea Green Power ahead of construction.
Three are in Puglia province, in the ‘heel’ of Italy’s boot-shaped geographical outline and the fourth is in Piedmont, in the country’s northwest region.
The two companies noted that the development of large-scale battery storage is in line with national energy minister Roberto Cingolani’s recent confirmation that Italy is setting a minimum renewable energy target of 70% by 2030.
Italy is also receiving a share of European Union post-pandemic economic recovery funding, of which a considerable portion is earmarked for green energy industry activities.
According to recently published data from analysis group Delta-EE, Italy is one of the four key markets leading Europe for energy storage deployment at present. The other three are Great Britain, Germany and Aer Soléir’s home market of Ireland.
As reported by Energy-Storage.news in May, Italy has arrived at more than 1.2GWh of battery storage capacity nationwide, although a huge amount of that – around 977MWh – is in the distributed energy storage segment rather than large-scale, according to the national ANIE Rinnovabili renewable energy association.
Market opportunities include frequency response on the pan-European market, but Italy’s grid operator, TERNA has also opened up the capacity market to batteries, awarding 1.1GW of contracts to new-build BESS in February through an auction.
In a recent interview, the CEO of UK energy storage developer-investor Gore Street Capital highlighted Italy as an “interesting market” with potential alongside Greece and Germany, as the company sought to expand internationally from its UK and Ireland development base.
“Italy is an interesting market we’ve looked at for many years but haven’t yet done anything in. It has a high level of penetration of solar and wind and it’s not as connected to the other mainland Europe grids because of the Alps, which creates an opportunity,” Gore Street Capital’s Alex O’Cinneide said.
Aer Soléir CEO and founding partner Andy Kinsella meanwhile said last week that Italy is a “very attractive market,” in which the company already has large-scale wind and solar PV projects.
In April, Aer Soléir received a US$250 million funding commitment from US-based clean energy investor 547 Energy International, part of the Quantum Energy Partners equity investment group. The developer has about 20 employees and is seeking development-stage clean energy projects across the European Union.