Shell Buys Virtual Power Plant Operator Next Kraftwerke
(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed to buy Next Kraftwerke, the operator of a virtual power plant that brings together clean-energy capacity across Europe to sell the electricity into the market.
Next Kraftwerke remotely connects and manages more than 10,000 off-grid units -- including solar, hydropower and bioenergy facilities -- across eight countries, the Hamburg-based company said Thursday in a statement. The deal expands Shell’s footprint in low-carbon technologies as the Anglo-Dutch oil major seeks to slash its emissions.
“The acquisition of Next Kraftwerke will accelerate Shell’s strategy to grow by adding smaller renewable assets to our portfolio,” David Wells, vice president of Shell Energy Europe, said in the statement. The terms of the transaction, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of this year, were not disclosed.
The deal highlights the growing divergence in European oil majors’ approach to the energy transition. France’s Total SE and BP Plc have made a big splash in the renewables sector, acquiring billions of dollars worth of assets in the last year. Shell has so far opted for smaller deals and organic growth, with a focus on acquiring energy supply contracts over large wind or solar farms.
Virtual power plants combine power from independent energy sources that aren’t connected to the grid. Small amounts of excess electricity that would otherwise be lost, can be aggregated and sold on the electricity market.
Shell has long said it aims to become one of the world’s largest providers of power. The Anglo-Dutch major said earlier this month it aims to double electricity sales to 560 terawatt-hours by 2030.
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