Scatec Solar enjoys blue skies in America

The Norwegian-based solar power producer has secured several projects in the US market

Photo courtesy of Scatec Solar  One of Scatec’s projects, the Utah Red Hills Renewable Park.

Photo courtesy of Scatec Solar
One of Scatec’s projects, the Utah Red Hills Renewable Park.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Headquartered in Oslo, Scatec Solar is an independent solar power producer that delivers affordable and sustainable sources of clean energy. The company develops, builds, owns, and operates power plants. Their mission is to deliver competitive and sustainable solar energy globally, to protect the environment, and to improve quality of life through innovative integration of reliable technology.

The U.S. is one of the largest solar energy markets globally and is expected to continue to grow based on strong market fundamentals. California has been the front-runner in this development, but other states are now following suit. Scatec Solar entered the U.S. market in 2009 and has successfully developed and sold projects in California and Hawaii. They are operating out of San Francisco and have secured more than 100 MW of projects in Utah and Hawaii. The company’s renewable park in Utah is located in Parowan, an area with excellent solar irradiation.

Over the past few years, utility-scale solar projects have risen from relative newcomers to the U.S. solar market to the fastest-growing segment of the industry, due in part to federal and state policy incentives such as the solar investment tax credit. The project in Utah was financed with Google providing tax equity, the Prudential Capital Group providing the debt financing, and Scatec Solar providing sponsor equity. Swinerton Renewable Energy provided the turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction services for the project.

Scatec Solar retains the ownership of the Renewable Energy Certificates generated by the park. These are made available for sale to third parties who may or may not be located in Utah. The project is the largest solar power plant constructed by the company in North America. Eighty percent of the project workforce was sourced from the local community, creating both construction and long-term employment opportunities in the region.

The founder of the company is serial entrepreneur Alf Bjørseth. He founded Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) in the ’90s and received almost NOK one billion when he sold out just before listing the company in 2006. He put almost NOK 300 million into Scatec Solar, which had its market entry into the rooftop business in 2001 and is now a larger success than REC.

The CEO is Raymond Carlsen. He came to Scatec Solar in 2009 from Aker, where he was responsible for the development of energy-related businesses. He has a Master of Science degree from the Florida Institute of Technology.

In the early years, the company received the U.S. award for “Best Renewable Project of the Year.” Its revenue last year was NOK 881 million. Today they are also in South Africa, the Czech Republic, Rwanda, Honduras, and Jordan, and they have more projects in the pipeline in Brazil. The company has been listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange since 2014. An analyst recently recommended buying the company’s shares for your children’s savings account.

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 26, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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