Developer Altea Green Power is selling 2GW of battery storage projects in Italy with expected ready-to-build (RTB) status in Q2 2025 – and responded to cautionary comments about large early-stage deals.
Altea, which describes itself as a developer and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) firm, has agreed to sell the projects on the international renewable energy asset M&A platform of LevelTen Energy, it announced earlier in June.
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The LevelTen Asset Marketplace platform connects clean energy project developers and buyers/financiers, with the associated software, analytics and M&A transaction expertise for transactions.
Giovanni Di Pascale, CEO of Altea Green Power, said in the early June announcement: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement, which allows us to expand our business opportunities, following a model that may not yet be common in Italy, but is widely recognised and embraced overseas.”
“The process of selling our 2GW storage projects starts on LevelTen Energy’s platform. Over the next month, we will be accepting all the offers from interested parties and aim to conclude the sale by the end of 2023.”
The early-stage projects are expected to reach ready-to-build (RTB) status in the second quarter of 2025, a spokesperson for Altea Green Power told Energy-Storage.news. They were designed with the help of Milan-based consultancy Elemens.
The market in Italy is currently gearing up to launch construction on projects, with some players waiting for the rules around large-scale storage auctions by TSO Terna to be finalised, expected late this year. Energy-Storage.news did a deep dive into the Italian market for the most recent edition of PV Tech Power (Vol.35).
Enel Green Power, part of the large utility Enel, is the only player which has started construction on a significant pipeline, having won the bulk of contracts in Capacity Market auctions in February 2022 and fast reserve ancillary service auctions in late 2020.
‘Battery storage cannot be developed like solar’
While buying a large early-stage pipeline of projects is a route to market used by many, developer Innovo Group, which is moving into the Italian BESS market with something more like an independent power producer (IPP) model, sounded a note of caution when being interviewed for the PV Tech Power feature.
Speaking to Energy-Storage.news back in April this year – and speaking about the market in broad terms – the firm’s founder and CEO Rodolfo Bigolin described a problem of “too many solar developers” entering the Italian market and hastily building up big pipelines to sell.
In reference to Bigolin’s earlier comments at the time, reproduced further down, the spokesperson for Altea Green Power said:
“When in 2021 Altea Green Power began the battery opportunities development, it decided to commit an important renewables Italian advisor to study different financial and technical scenarios regarding the area of interest, because electricity prices can differ depending on whether a site is located in the northern or southern part of Italy and if the investor chooses the capacity market scheme or another financial approach available on the market.”
They then pointed to the firm’s BESS partnership with another developer, Aer Soleir, announced last year, which now comprises four projects with land and connection secured totalling 450MW, submitted into national authorisation procedures and which have already obtained the first approval. Those are expected to reach RTB in the second quarter of 2024.
“Likewise, the opportunities available on the LevelTen platform can be considered brownfield: they are next to start the permitting phase without any red flags from a technical and legal perspective,” they added.
“The (LevelTen) projects will be ready to be built in Q2 2025. Altea’s strategy is to support the customer until the ready-to-build phase to reduce their risks during the development and permitting phase.”
Bigolin meanwhile, speaking in mid-April this year, was sceptical of the available pipelines of projects he had come across at that point. Building on his point about “too many solar developers” coming in, he said:
“And the problem with that is that people are throwing around grid connection requests and they’ve secured land without the strategy, without any studies over the specific project. We believe that battery storage cannot be developed like solar. It needs much more work and analysis on every specific project,” he said.
“We’ve had half-a-gigawatt pipelines come across our desk with a point of connection of 10 or 12km, from the same people who were a year ago advising others that you can’t go beyond 2km. But they found a piece of land and are now throwing grid connections around.”
The LevelTen platform has been used numerous times in high-profile energy storage deals, including acquisitions by Cypress Creek Renewables and Canadian Solar‘s development arm Recurrent Energy in Texas and California, respectively, in mid-2022.