Better Energy, an international solar energy development company, and ATsolar ApS, a leading installer and provider of operations and maintenance services for the solar PV industry in Denmark, have decided to strengthen their successful collaboration. As part of its strategy to have a fully integrated value chain, Better Energy has joined in the ownership of ATsolar.
“Our goal is to make solar energy a commercially viable technology without governmental subsidies, and we are working to drive developments that will make large-scale integration of solar PV possible,” explains Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær, CEO of Better Energy. “The combined strengths of Better Energy and ATsolar will enhance customer offerings, market presence, innovation, operating efficiency and support our strategic objective to increase installed capacity up to 1 GWh by 2020. Closer collaboration will bring new opportunities ahead and increase growth and competitiveness on the global market.”
Partners – and pioneers
In practice, this partnership is nothing new. Better Energy and ATsolar have worked together on several utility-scale projects, and this turned out to be a record-setting combination. Better Energy quickly became market leader in Denmark and gained international recognition in 2016 by winning the first cross-border tender for PV capacity in Denmark with a record-low price of €0.0173 per kWh.
Putting it all together
Better Energy takes an integrated approach to developing solar plants. This approach incorporates all the critical areas of a solar system lifecycle, from planning and design, to financing, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance. Tight integration provides flexibility to innovate and respond rapidly to external events in a complex and volatile energy market.
“We can create more transformative projects as a combined company than we possibly can separately,” explains Mark Augustenborg Ødum, EVP markets & project finance at Better Energy. “We are a unique group of people who believe that tomorrow does not have to be like today. Real change is possible if we change the way we work. We want to make the solar development process as seamless as possible.”
Where is the value created?
An integrated operating model enables Better Energy to find cost efficiencies and economies of scale in all aspects of the value chain, from the purchasing of equipment to the cost of financing to the cost of installation. Ultimately, this leads to the lowest cost of energy. Better Energy can offer rates which are below that of other competitors who do not have vertical integration.
Seeing the light
With a growing need to reduce costs and improve their green profile, many businesses are seeing the light – literally. Investing in renewables is becoming an integral part of corporate strategy.
Acquiring ATsolar gives Better Energy a strengthened foundation to meet this greater demand from businesses for the supply of solar systems. With the rapid expansion of solar plant projects in Europe and worldwide, technical and commercial operations management is becoming increasingly important.
The new arrangement
“In addition to an extensive pipeline of utility-scale projects, we are gaining a deeply experienced and successful development team with international financial and legal expertise,” says Nicolai Faaborg Andresen, CEO of ATsolar. “Our customers will have access to more comprehensive and competitive end-to-end solutions, including customised finance options.”
ATsolar will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Sønderborg, Denmark, as an independent subsidiary of Better Energy.
Progress is always based on a story
Also new, Michael Vater and Mikkel Dau Jacobsen have joined the management team of Better Energy as managing partners. Both have collaborated with ATsolar and Better Energy for many years. They bring with them extensive experience with project management, strategic purchasing and emerging economies.
“Entrepreneurs are really storytellers,” says Michael Vater, EVP Business Development & PR at Better Energy. “The first great challenge of an entrepreneur is not writing a business plan or practicing a sales pitch, but figuring out what story he or she will share with the world.”
“We are all entrepreneurs in Better Energy, and our story about affordable, clean energy for the world is just getting started. We look forward to capturing the enormous potential of the solar PV market together with ATsolar.”
ATsolar was founded by Nicolai Faaborg Andresen and Lars Skadhauge Thomsen in 2012 and is today one of Denmark’s largest solar plant installers. ATsolar was founded on the philosophy of using energy that is already there. The company is a leading provider of quality solar energy systems tailored to residential, commercial and government customers. ATsolar has extensive experience in photovoltaics (PV) that is built upon excellence in professional system design, engineering, operations and maintenance (O&M) service. www.atsolar.dk