Savion is closing out a successful 2021 with a flourishing team and a rapidly expanding project portfolio. Despite the ongoing market challenges that persisted this past year, our team forged ahead, determined to drive sustainability through the development of utility-scale solar and energy storage projects. We’re excited to reflect on some of the best moments of the past year.
First and foremost, we are excited to end the year by announcing that Shell New Energies US LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has acquired Savion. The Savion team is thrilled to be turning the corner into 2022 as part of the Shell organization.
In 2021, the company signed 790 megawatts (MW) of power purchase agreements (PPA) and offtake agreements and closed on the sale of solar projects totaling more than 2 GW. The energy expected from these power agreements and project sales is enough to power the equivalent of 645,000 U.S. homes. A few notable publicly announced transactions included:
Target Corporation signed a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with Brazoria County Solar Project, LLC to receive 160 MW capacity of renewable solar power from Golden Buckle Solar Project (March).
Shikun and Binui closed on the agreement to acquire Brazoria West Solar Project in Texas (November).
This year, we were honored to watch the start of construction on Savion-developed solar projects, including Wood County Solar Project and Bear Creek Solar Project (WI – both owned by Alliant Energy), Sunflower Solar Project (MS – owned by Recurrent Energy), Brazoria West Solar Project (TX – owned by Shikun and Binui), Brazoria County Solar Project (TX), and Rayos Del Sol Solar Project (TX).
Also, in 2021, Savion-developed Westmoreland Solar Project (VA – owned by Falck Renewables and Eni U.S.) began commercial operation. This brings the Savion team’s current successful projects’ total to more than 543 MW of operating solar output.
We also want to recognize this year’s progression of our executive team and the continued expansion of the Savion workforce:
The Savion team grew to a total of 126 employees.
The Savion executive team also added a new Vice President of Engineering, Procurement, and Construction with the hire of Gary Parker. This year, the company announced the promotion of Russ Laplante to Chief Investment Officer.
The Savion solar and energy storage project portfolio grew to more than 136 projects (in-development or under contract), totaling more than 17.9 GW. In addition, the team successfully obtained approval of all discretionary use permits required to build the company’s first proposed brownfield solar project on a reclaimed coal mine.
Savion was honored to have donated more than $23,000 to various groups and organizations during a time of great need, including charities in our project communities. Additionally, Savion was pleased to contribute to the Hurricane Ida relief efforts by providing a solar trailer in partnership with Footprint Project.
In June, we completed the installation of a rooftop solar system on the Savion corporate headquarters in downtown Kansas City in partnership with SunSmart Technologies. In total, there are 84 solar panels attached to the office roof, with the capacity to produce a maximum of up to 35.7 kW of energy. We are excited to be working in a more sustainable workspace, with the sun’s power helping us do more to reduce our carbon emissions as an organization.
In September, Savion launched a new original LinkedIn series titled “Women in Power/Power in Women”. The series features a spotlight on our fearless female team members.
We congratulate our team for staying the course and using the momentum from 2020 to execute our business growth strategies. As the industry predicted, renewable energy had an outstanding year:
The key drivers for 2021 growth of the U.S. utility-scale solar market were due to:
- Coal plant retirements
- Utility Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS): utilities voluntarily purchasing renewable energy to meet RPS goals
- Investor-owned utilities accounting for almost half of the solar offtaker market
- A surge in corporate buyers looking to secure long-term electricity rates
Wood Mackenzie – U.S. utility-scale solar market update: Q3 2021
Energy storage deployment continues to be vital to the success of the energy transition to renewables:
- According to Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association’s (ESA) latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report – 1 GW of utility-scale energy storage was installed in Q3 2021, and Q4 is predicted to be another record-breaking quarter.
- For the U.S. to meet its climate goals, it needs to have 100 GW of energy storage by 2030. The industry is currently advocating for the passage of an ITC for stand-alone storage to make it competitive with other clean energy technologies and help lower costs for increased adoption (Energy Storage Association).
- The United States is the largest energy storage market, with capacity expected to reach 7.3 GW / 18.3 GWh by the end of the year
- Energy shifting is the dominant use case, with renewables pairing becoming common as a cost-effective option to displace fossil fuel projects
As the country ushered in a new federal administration and the pandemic lingered, we witnessed the continued resiliency of renewable energy – and the people who work in the industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) declared that we had entered the “solar+decade.” The U.S. set a goal to reach 100% carbon-pollution-free electricity by 2035, and more of the country’s utilities made commitments to shutter a significant amount of coal-based energy and add more renewable generation over the next ten years. In addition, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which includes federal dollars for improving grid resilience and reliability, additions and upgrades to resolve transmission congestion and restraint issues, and various funding for project opportunities, including energy storage. There are more exciting provisions on the horizon for the solar industry with the potential passage of the Build Back Better Act.
Looking forward, we firmly believe that continued policy support and regulatory reform at the state and federal levels will directly impact the short and long-term future of solar energy and battery storage. Recent actions from the government signal that our country is ready to activate a diverse energy grid portfolio. Savion is in a prime position to contribute to the country’s path to a clean energy future.
As always, we want to thank our entire Savion team, our customers, partners, vendors, project host communities, and landowners for the continued hard work, support, and tireless commitment to advancing solar energy and battery storage facility deployment over the past year. Now, as part of Shell, we look forward to a new chapter and a bright future as we continue to expand our presence in the U.S. renewables market.
We wish all of you a happy, healthy, and safe 2022. Please enjoy our 2021 Savion Year in Review Video.