Cero Generation, based in the UK, has initiated operations for a cutting-edge 70MW agrivoltaics project in Italy known as the Pontinia project. The endeavor, located in the Latina province of the Lazio region in central Italy, encompasses 135 hectares, with approximately 65% of the land dedicated to agricultural crops. The project has secured ten-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renowned companies, Heineken and Philips, marking a significant stride in sustainable energy partnerships.
Cero Generation boasts a global portfolio comprising 370 utility-scale projects with a total capacity of 25GW. The Pontinia project stands out as one of the company's flagship initiatives, being declared subsidy-free and among the pioneering large-scale agrivoltaics projects to go online in Italy.
Marta Martinez Queimadelos, CEO of Cero Generation, expressed enthusiasm about the Pontinia project's operational commencement, highlighting the virtual PPAs with Heineken and Philips. Queimadelos emphasized the innovative integration of the project with agricultural crops as a crucial step in addressing the challenges posed by the climate crisis.
In a significant development, the European Commission recently approved a €1.7 billion (US$1.8 billion) scheme to support the deployment of 1.04GW of agrivoltaics projects in Italy. Notably, €1.1 billion of the funds will be allocated through investment grants, covering up to 40% of eligible investment costs, while the remaining €560 million will be disbursed through incentive tariffs over a 20-year period during the operational phase of the projects.
Furthermore, Cero Generation solidified its position in the renewable energy landscape by acquiring Univergy Solar's 50% stake in Nara Solar in July. This move granted Cero Generation full ownership of the Spanish solar developer, originally established as a joint venture between Cero and Univergy in 2019. Nara Solar, now wholly owned by Cero, manages a substantial portfolio of solar projects with a total capacity of 2GW under construction and in development across Spain, France, and the Netherlands.