Renewables roll-out to accelerate with launch of new firm with £24 million backing from low carbon infrastructure company SSE.
A renewable power business formed by a team of leading energy sector entrepreneurs launches today, with a commitment of £24 million from low carbon infrastructure company SSE plc, a Principal Partner of the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow in November.
The clean energy transition is a critical part of the global response to the climate emergency, a situation recently described by the UN as a ‘code red for humanity’.
Renewco Power aims to accelerate the development of clean energy projects focusing on the roll-out of large-scale solar and wind farms across the UK and Europe. It already has a gigawatt of early stage projects in the pipeline across the UK and Europe.
The Edinburgh-based company is targeting the development of assets with a capacity of more than 4GW (gigawatts) within five years. This would be equivalent to powering approximately 2 million households with clean energy – more than all the homes in Paris (1.1m), Madrid (1.2m) or Manchester (1.2m).
Renewco Power is backed by a £24 million (€28 million) investment from FTSE 100 energy company, SSE plc via Corran Capital. SSE’s financial contribution will enable Renewco to accelerate the implementation of the team’s high growth strategy. Renewco’s founders are a highly experienced and entrepreneurial group, including two of Europe’s most successful renewable power entrepreneurs, Frans van den Heuvel, former CEO of Solarcentury, and Alan Baker, former CEO of Airtricity-Scotland and Forsa Energy. The team is led by CEO, Gavin McCallum, who has a background in private equity and the energy sector including at BP Alternative Energy, with Alp Karli, founder of solar power business, Value Renewables, and previously of Vestas, as Chief Commercial Officer, and Romain Keyen, formerly of Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), as Chief Investment Officer.
The founders have over 100 years of combined renewables development and investment experience, having successfully developed more than 10GW of renewables in over 50 countries, raising more than £2 billion to finance these assets in the process.
The team was brought together by Gary Le Sueur, a former partner of SEP, who recently founded Corran Capital in Edinburgh to invest in clean energy and climate focused companies. Le Sueur will chair Renewco and will be joined on the board by Derrick Allan, head of SGN Smart, the smart-meter service provider, and former chairman of Solarcentury.
Renewco’s CEO, Gavin McCallum, said:
“There is a growing and urgent demand for utility-scale renewables projects across Europe, and we are excited about the potential we see for Renewco. Renewco has a unique blend of entrepreneurial talent with deep power sector and financial expertise which we will use to accelerate new developments across Europe. We will be growing our team over the coming months, adding further commercial expertise to accelerate the delivery of our strategy.”
Martin Pibworth, SSE Group Energy & Commercial Director: said:
“Renewco has a first class management team and this financial investment is one we expect to generate strong returns. We see this as a complementary investment to SSE’s own core Renewables and Distributed Energy businesses and look forward to seeing Renewco deliver their ambitious plans.”
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About Renewco Power:
Renewco Power is focussed on developing utility-scale solar, wind and battery projects across Europe. It is led by a highly experienced and entrepreneurial group of renewables executives and is backed by Corran Capital with cornerstone funding from SSE. Renewco Power is based in Edinburgh with a presence across Europe. See: www.renewcopower.com About SSE: SSE has the largest renewable electricity portfolio in the UK and Ireland, providing energy needed today while building a better world of energy for tomorrow. It develops, builds, operates and invests in low-carbon infrastructure in support of the transition to net zero, including onshore and offshore wind, hydro power, electricity transmission and distribution networks, alongside providing energy products and services for businesses and other customers. UK-listed and headquartered in Scotland, SSE is a major contributor to the UK and Ireland economies. It employs more than 10,000 people and is real Living Wage and Fair Tax Mark accredited.
About Corran Capital:
Corran Capital has been set up to back entrepreneurs in the clean energy and environmental sectors, helping them grasp the commercial opportunities presented by climate change and to grow valuable businesses in a successful and sustainable manner. See: www.corrancapital.com
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