Commodities trading firm Hartree Partners has launched a business focusing on on-site renewable and gas-fired power generation for UK companies, which includes a pipeline of over 1GW of onshore wind and solar projects through a separate joint venture with Singapore-based AGP Sustainable Real Assets.
Hartree Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hartree Partners, will build, own and operate power generation assets connected to medium and large-scale businesses through private wires. Units will be located either on-site or at a nearby location to each customer, and may include energy storage facilities such as batteries.
The new company has a fully licensed power and gas supply business arm that can trade wholesale power on day-ahead and intra-day markets as well as in futures contracts. But it plans to only buy power or gas that is needed to optimise the on-site generation to customers, as it will manage supply imbalances itself, Hartree Solutions sales director Andy Harper told Argus today.
Hartree Partners will continue wholesale power and gas trading in the UK and Europe, while Hartree Solutions will focus on the development, operation and optimisation of on-site power plants, partner Adam Lewis noted.
Hartree Solutions will use in-house artificial intelligence to predict market prices and remotely operate the on-site plants on a real-time basis according to market conditions. Plants would generate at maximum levels at times of high prices, so that excess output could be exported to the UK’s transmission system operator National Grid. Conversely, they would be turned off when prices are low or even negative, making it more profitable to import power from the grid and benefit from balancing payments that plant operators receive to reduce their generation.
The gains from optimisation would be passed on to customers, which could choose to have fixed prices under long-term power purchase agreements.
“We have been negotiating contracts ranging between eight and 15 years and we are close to executing a number of these,” Lewis said.
Potential customers include hotel chains, data centres and manufacturing companies in sectors such as food and beverage, chemicals and mineral processing.
AMPYR Energy UK
Hartree Solutions has formed a Joint Venture with AGP’s energy platform, AMPYR Energy UK, which plans to develop more than 1GW of onshore wind and solar photovoltaic capacity in the UK.
Not all of these projects would necessarily be developed as on-site plants for Hartree Solutions’ business, as some of them could be built under subsidy schemes, Lewis noted.
“Subsidies are becoming harder though, as we are heading to a subsidy-free world. Hartree has capital to invest in this area, to develop energy certainly in the UK and possibly around Europe,” Lewis said.