The renewable energy market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds as governments and corporates focus on accelerating their clean energy transition strategies and move quickly towards decarbonising their energy mix. The United States has especially emerged as a favourable investment hotspot for the renewable energy sector on account of a slew of recent government policies. The focus of developers in the United States renewable energy market is not only on solar and wind power projects but also tapping the new and emerging opportunities in offshore wind, green hydrogen and energy storage. Against this backdrop, Invenergy, a leading renewable energy developer, is also focusing on expanding its renewable energy portfolio and diversify its offerings to a mix clean energy sources. Mick Baird, EVP, North American Development, Invenergy talks to REGlobal about the company’s achievements, future plans and his take on renewable energy sector outlook.
What is Invenergy’s present renewable power portfolio? What is the company’s geographical reach at present? Which other potential countries is the company looking to expand its operations in?
Invenergy is uniquely positioned as the largest privately held developer, owner, and operator of sustainable energy solutions in the world. We have the expertise and flexibility to deliver a solution to any energy challenge and support from the earliest stages of project development through financing and operations and maintenance and asset management services.
We have successfully developed more than 30 gigawatts of clean energy– which is enough electricity to power the equivalent of 10 million homes. Our portfolio includes wind, solar, thermal and advanced energy storage projects around the world, including in the Americas, Europe and Asia. We are building on this legacy as we accelerate the clean energy transition. Beyond our core project pipeline, we have expanded our portfolio in recent years to include long-distance transmission and clean water infrastructure as well as offshore wind.
What have been the key highs and lows for the company in its two decade journey? How has the company’s model evolved during this period?
We’re engineers and project developers at heart, so every project we bring online is a high – especially when we are talking about industry defining projects like the largest solar energy center in the United States or the largest onshore wind project built in a single phase. However, being at the leading edge of the energy industry comes with occasional challenges. Whether it’s sourcing new technologies at scale, or developing projects in uncharted territory, deadlines get tight, new ideas get questioned, and sometimes plans must evolve. However, our team has always created innovative solutions.
Invenergy was an early leader in the clean energy transition and has continually evolved to push the energy industry forward. What began as a largely thermal and wind business is now a full energy solutions provider with an array of new technologies, including solar, green hydrogen, desalination, and large-scale battery storage. While the technology has changed, our approach to responsibly siting clean energy projects that benefit a broad spectrum of stakeholders has remained the same.
The company recently won an offshore wind lease in New York. What is your perspective on the current opportunities and bottlenecks in this space in the US market?
Offshore wind plays an important role in advancing energy security and deploying more renewable energy for more Americans. The market is quickly emerging and presents challenges, like any deployment of new technology, but Invenergy has always translated our deep clean energy expertise to new technologies and will do the same as we transition to offshore wind. We are excited by the possibilities that Leading Light Wind, our inaugural offshore wind project, presents to grow the domestic offshore market – especially because it’s the only American-led project in the New York Bight.
We are excited by the possibilities that Leading Light Wind, our inaugural offshore wind project, presents to grow the domestic offshore market – especially because it’s the only American-led project in the New York Bight.
What is going to be the likely impact of the recent federal policy and regulatory interventions in the sector especially with regards to tariffs, duties, subsidies etc?
Sustainable energy is the future. From economics to engineering, renewable energy makes sense – and the demand for it, continues to increase. Changing policy landscapes can present both challenges and opportunities. We have overcome challenges in the past and are excited to see new legislation targeted at making the US a leader in sustainable energy.
Invenergy is actively working in the energy storage space. So what has been your experience regarding present techno-commercial viability of such projects? Any other emerging technologies like green hydrogen or CCUS that the company is keen to explore?
Sustainable energy infrastructure requires a range of technology. We currently have a portfolio of advanced energy storage projects and launched our first green hydrogen project this summer. Sauk Valley Hydrogen is projected to produce 52 tons of hydrogen each year. Each of these technologies are a critical part of the clean energy future.
With the current geopolitical climate, what is your take on global renewable energy supply chains and overall project costs? How has the company dealt with these uncertainties first during the pandemic and then with rising inflation?
First, we pride ourselves on building strong, stable relationships with our suppliers who we work with throughout the procurement process. Like all industries, the renewable energy space has experienced some of these global challenges. However, we have been fortunate to lean on our market reputation and strong partnerships to navigate the current economy. Given the growing global demand for clean energy, we hold a positive long-term view and will remain an industry-leading force.
Sustainable energy infrastructure requires a range of technology. We currently have a portfolio of advanced energy storage projects and launched our first green hydrogen project this summer.
With the entire renewable energy sector slowly moving towards greater digitalisation, what digital and automation tools are being used across your assets? Which technologies have greater uptake potential in this space?
Our experienced operations and asset management teams are always building and utilizing the most efficient digital tools to bring clean energy to communities across the globe. For example, Invenergy’s own Expected Power Model is making renewable energy operations more predictable and efficient. By analyzing complex weather and energy output trends, the team can leverage available data to maximize availability and production.
Tools that can help digest a lot of data across many variables, and can do it safely and securely, will continue to see traction.
What is the company’s short-term and long-term growth plan?
Invenergy will continue to combine unparalleled flexibility, industry-leading expertise, and an owner-operator mindset to solve the toughest energy challenges. With 20 years of experience and best-in-class technologies, our team is well-equipped to build a more sustainable world.