Telecommunication service provider A1 Bulgaria and domestic clean energy investment group Renalfa have signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for solar energy.
A photovoltaic plant in south Bulgaria with a peak capacity of 33 MW is set to supply A1 Bulgaria with 20 GWh of electricity per year for the next ten years. The mobile carrier signed the power purchase agreement or PPA with clean energy and e-mobility investment group Renalfa, which installs solar power plants and provides operations and maintenance services.
First sleeved PPA deal in Bulgaria
Renalfa will also provide the so-called sleeving service to A1 via its subsidiary Toki.bg. Sleeving is the process of transforming the pay-as-produced PV profile of the generation project into the consumption schedule of the telecom through the electricity market. This is the first such agreement on the Bulgarian market.
A1 said it intends to cut its CO2 emissions to net zero by 2030 by decreasing its carbon footprint and gradually switching to renewables
With a sleeved PPA, the buyer gets electricity through an intermediary which handles the transfer of both energy and money, bears the wholesale price change risk and is responsible for buying balancing power.
“Climate change is arguably the biggest challenge of the 21st century. While digital technologies can support sustainable development, the unprecedented global data usage during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused our industry to consume more energy than ever before. As part of A1 Telekom Austria Group, we are aware of our responsibility towards the environment and has set an ambitious environmental target: reducing CO2 emissions to net zero by 2030. This will be achieved by decreasing our own carbon footprint and gradually switching to energy from renewable sources,” said Alexander Dimitrov, Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer of A1 Bulgaria.
A1 pioneers innovative business model
Corporate PPAs are the backbone of the clean energy transition, Executive Director of Renalfa Yuri Katanov said and said A1 pioneered an innovative business model. “Corporate PPAs provide competitive advantage to companies by securing long-term energy supply at a fixed price as compared to the volatile energy markets. At the same time this energy is clean and with proven RES origin, which significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the companies, contributes to safer and cleaner environment and increases their ESG (environmental, social and governance) ratings,” he added.
A1 Bulgaria offers mobile and fixed services, high-speed broadband internet, satellite TV, own interactive TV platform, sports channels, financial services, ICT, cloud, and IoT solutions to more than 4.8 million customers.
The Renalfa group of companies said it completed photovoltaic projects with an overall peak capacity of 6 GW in Europe and the Middle East. It invests in and develops solar, wind, energy storage and power-to-X (PtX) projects in Eastern Europe.
Toki is a challenger utility specializing in green energy supply and market integration of renewables. It is the only fully digital double-sided marketplace for renewable energy in Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia, where it operates under electricity trading licenses, Renalfa said.
Of note, Renalfa is planning to build a 250 MW solar power plant in Yambol province via a joint venture.