Ingeteam – Driving the Energy Transition
Ingeteam, a specialist in electric power conversion, offers advanced systems that help to achieve sustainable and efficient energy generation, transmission, distribution and consumption.
The Spanish company Ingeteam is active in several sectors with a common goal: to electrify society in order to decarbonise the economy.
With its international structure and presence in 24 countries on five continents, the company provides the design and manufacture of power electronics solutions for different applications, such as renewable energy plants, electric mobility, railway traction, mining, marine, green hydrogen production and others.
Ingeteam has an extensive product portfolio, ranging from string inverters for residential, commercial, and industrial systems, to central inverters for large-scale plants rated at hundreds of megawatts.
Just recently, the company has undergone internal reorganisation into 7 business sectors, to become more market-oriented and make better use of internal efficiencies.
Mr José Luis González, Sales Director of the Ingeteam Solar Photovoltaic Area, the sector that has been experiencing the steepest growth, says: “Solar and Energy Storage, currently accounting for about 35% of the Group’s turnover, are areas with huge potential, unhindered by the global pandemic.”
Indeed, despite the pandemic, Ingeteam ended 2021 having supplied 4,229 MW to the solar and energy storage global markets, a record in the company’s history, and signing 1.5 GW of operation and maintenance contracts for the solar PV sector. “This has been a very important achievement for us, taking into account the grave consequences of the pandemic and all the delays suffered in the development of projects.”
“We have been working closely with our customers from the design phase. This has allowed us to create alliances that helped us to better understand the needs of our customers, with a view to always seeking a balance between the quality and profitability of the projects, thus minimising the risk.”
As a result of its customer-centric focus and technological expertise, Ingeteam has been selected to participate in several prestigious projects over the last few years. In 2020, Scottish Power Renewables, Iberdrola’s subsidiary in the UK, awarded Ingeteam a contract for the supply of the company’s largest-ever ion-lithium battery storage system.
This agreement joins another which was signed recently for the supply of inverters for the Francisco Pizarro plant, which is to be Europe’s biggest solar PV plant and Iberdrola’s biggest plant of any kind anywhere in the world. Further agreements have also been reached in recent months for PV construction projects in Spain and Mexico.
Energy storage is an area that is growing fast and where Ingeteam is building an impressive track record, positioning itself for significant developments over the short and medium-term, both at the residential level and at a large scale.
“This sector is very important for us, as it is the key element needed to make the energy transition technically possible. We have been present in this sector for more than 10 years. In this time, we have supplied 1.6 GWh of energy storage capacity.”
Ingeteam recently commissioned the Arañuelo III photovoltaic plant, the first large-scale PV plant in Spain to incorporate an energy storage system, comprising a 3MW / 9 MWh battery system in this case.
As well as being the first large-scale solar plant in Spain to incorporate batteries, this project offered a further innovative feature with its inclusion of the battery storage system within the PV plant as a distributed system with a DC-Coupling configuration. In this mode, the batteries are installed within the solar array and the battery converters share the DC connection with the PV inverters.
Last but not least, in May 2022, the company announced that Ingeteam has been selected as the technology partner to equip the largest energy storage system in Italy, which will also be one of the largest and most important systems in Europe and in the world. This landmark project will secure a power output of 70 MW and an installed capacity of 340 MWh and offer an energy storage capacity that was almost inconceivable until a very short time ago.
One of a Kind
Although there are many players in the fast-growing renewable energies sector, it is not only the customer-centric approach and technical expertise that differentiate Ingeteam from its competitors. “Ingeteam is a European company that was created 50 years ago. We are a medium-sized company, and this gives us greater flexibility to provide a more customised service to our clients.”
“Moreover, we believe that we provide the widest scope of supply for solar PV farms on the market compared to other power electronics suppliers. In fact, some of our clients see us as a technology partner, because we are by their side throughout the development stages of their projects.”
Mr González also highlights the company’s excellent team, without whom success would not be possible. At the moment, given the expected growth of the sector, the company is planning to hire 1,000 new people to increase staff numbers to 5,100 by 2024.
Ambitious as this may seem, Mr González points out that the company is going to capitalise on its proximity to the local university as well as the promising potential of the sector, as well as Ingeteam’s active participation in the energy transition, which is bound to be an attractive proposition for young talent.
Growing With the Market
Apart from solar energy and energy storage, the company has also been looking at green hydrogen, initiating in-house electrolyser development in 2006-2021. “The first project will be delivered in the coming weeks,” says Mr González. “However, in terms of revenues, solar and energy storage will be the main contributors.”
Needless to say, investment in R&D is high, and the company is committed to sustaining the level of investment in both its facilities and research and development. In this context, Ingeteam plans to invest €210 M over the next 3 years – €140M will be spent on R&D for the company’s in-house technology, while €70 M is planned for new facilities, says Mr González.
“We are planning a new building within our Spanish power converter manufacturing plant and a new high-tech power laboratory at our Spanish R&D offices. This will translate into a greater productive capacity, enhanced value for our clients and increased local staff numbers.”
In line with this increasing capacity and number of employees, the company is set to grow its PV and Battery storage business, specifically in the US and the UK, followed by Ingeteam’s historically strong markets of Spain, Italy, Australia, and Latin America.
“We expect to consolidate our position in the markets in which we are most active and well-established while looking for new opportunities that may arise in other countries with good growth prospects,” Mr González concludes.