GreenVolt to invest €7M this year in new energy communities business

  • Lusa
  • 5 April 2022

GreenVolt has started a business dedicated to the creation and management of energy communities, a project in which it will invest €7million this year.

GreenVolt has launched a business dedicated to the creation and management of energy communities, in which decentralised energy is produced by installing solar panels on rooftops or land, a project in which it will invest €7 million this year.

At the presentation on Tuesday of the company Energia Unida (United Energy, which develops this business area), the president of GreenVolt, Manso Neto (former leader of EDP Renováveis), said that to strengthen the energy transition it is necessary to “make already inhabited spaces profitable from an energy point of view” and to decentralise production.

According to the manager, the war in Ukraine has reinforced the need to, “besides economic and environmental sustainability, reinforce energy security and sources of supply” and for that he considered that it is necessary to be more ambitious and go beyond traditional renewable projects.

On the business objectives, Manso Neto said he expects that in 2025 decentralised energy production will represent at least 5% to 10% of GreenVolt’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) and that already in 2023, the United Energy operation will give positive results.

“This is very sustainable, solid business,” Manso Neto said, adding that for this year United Energy’s expected investment is €7 million.

For José Almeida, CEO of Energia Unida, with the energy communities (where producers and consumers are geographically close) “it is possible to have access to clean, cheap energy for all”.

Energia Unida says that the producer client (companies, public entities or families) only needs to have space (roofs and/or land) and want to join the community and the company takes care of everything, from financing, bureaucracy, the installation of the panels and the creation and, later, management of the energy network. Customers who are only consumers, who cannot be producers, can also be part of the energy community.

The contact with companies (so that they may eventually join the communities) will be made directly by United Energy, while at the level of families, the main point of contact will be the United Energy website, where each person can register.

On its website, United Energy has a simulator so that the energy producer knows how much he will save on his energy bill and how much he can receive by sharing the remaining energy (that he produces and doesn’t use) with the community.

According to José Almeida, the projects will be diverse and can range from 50 kilowatts to 1.2 megawatts.

“Our portfolio will certainly consist of projects of different nature,” said the CEO of Energia Unida.

Community adherents have no upfront cost and, according to Energia Unida, each community adherent benefits from energy below the market price.

The member will not have to change energy supplier. When the energy consumed in the community is not sufficient, the member of the energy community consumes energy from his/her energy supplier. The customer will now receive two bills, with the community bill automatically deducted from the supplier’s bill, according to the explanations given today.

“We do not eliminate the clients’ exposure to the market, but we reduce it,” said Manso Neto at the presentation of this business area of GreenVolt.