Rezolv acquires rights to develop Europe's largest ever solar photovoltaic plant

  • Actis backed Rezolv Energy was launched earlier this year to build a new era of sustainable power in Central and South-Eastern Europe
  • 1,044 MW plant, acquired from Monsson, will be situated in western Romania
  • Plant expected to be online by 2025, providing clean power to more than 370,000 households
  • Potential to integrate symbiotic agricultural activities, including sheep grazing and beekeeping

Rezolv Energy, an independent clean energy power producer focused on sustainable power in Central and South Eastern Europe, has acquired from the Monsson Group the rights to build and operate a 1,044 MW solar photovoltaic plant in Arad County in western Romania. Once constructed, it is expected to be the largest solar PV plant in Europe. 

The project is already in the late-stage development phase. Rezolv Energy is already appraising technology solutions and debt financing options with construction due to start in the first half of next year; it is expected to be online by 2025.

The plant will be covered by approximately 1.6 million new solar panels. With an average annual power generation of approximately 1,500,000 MWh, it is expected to be able to provide clean power for more than 370,000 households. The power will be sold to commercial and industrial users through long-term Power Purchase Agreements.

The project will be connected to the 400 kV high voltage overhead lines in the area and will likely include a 135 MW battery storage system, capable of delivering electricity for four hours. This will enable the high voltage lines to be smartly loaded, balancing the variability of the renewable energy supply.

The project will provide a large number of new jobs. During construction, at least 500 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees will be hired for a two-year period, both for light assembly – which is work suitable for men and women, on both a full-time and part-time basis – and highly-skilled engineering roles. At least 30 FTE employees will then stay on for the lifetime of the project. There will also be a focus on delivering training and skills development programmes for local communities in and around the project. 

The project will be designed, constructed, and operated to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, with a particular emphasis on integrating symbiotic agricultural activities on the site. Much of the poor-quality agricultural land will be returned to pasture, with sheep managing the vegetation through grazing. Recent research from the United States has shown the numerous advantages of this approach, confirming that the overall return from grazing is the same in both solar pastures and open fields with no PV panels. The project will also seek to incorporate beekeeping and other measures to increase biodiversity.

Rezolv Energy was launched earlier this year by Actis, a leading global investor in sustainable infrastructure, and the Rezolv leadership team, which had previously developed and run a portfolio of energy projects in Central and South Eastern Europe. Last month, the company announced that it was partnering with Low Carbon to deliver another major renewable energy project in Romania: the 450MW ‘Vis Viva’ onshore wind farm. 

“We are moving into a new era for renewable energy in Europe. Projects like this will give us the scale to provide highly competitive, subsidy-free clean power at a stable price for industrial and commercial users. It will also make a significant contribution to Europe’s twin objectives of increasing its energy independence and reducing its net emissions to zero.”

– Jim Campion, Chief Executive, Rezolv Energy

“This transaction illustrates the scale of Actis’ ambition to invest in the Energy Transition across the world in general and in the CEE region in particular. At a time when energy security needs are driving faster adoption of renewable energy, we are excited to be funding Rezolv’s investment in Europe’s largest ever solar photovoltaic plant, expected to provide clean power to more than 370,000 households and constructed and operated to the highest sustainability standards. This transaction follows Rezolv’s announcement in September to deliver a 450MW wind farm in Romania, and we are working closely with Rezolv on further renewable energy investments which we hope to announce in early 2023.”

– Jaroslava Korpanec, Partner and Head of Central & Eastern Europe at Actis

Clifford Chance acted as legal advisor to Rezolv Energy on this transaction.