MIVB relies on Aspiravi's local wind energy thanks to AYA

Public transport reduces car space in the city, thereby reducing pollution and reducing congestion. The Brussels public transport company MIVB monitors sustainable mobility in other areas too. For example, in its search for a green energy source, the organisation came into contact with Aspiravi through AYA. As a producer of wind energy, Aspiravi will supply 50 GWh/year: accounting for 20% of MIVB's high-voltage consumption.

MIVB's key figures indicate that on average, using public transport instead of the car decreases CO2 emissions from a trip by four times the amount. However, the organisation also achieves sustainable mobility in other areas. Several initiatives together constitute a central strategy by which MIVB reduces its impact on the environment.

For instance, it monitors the eco-driving behaviour of the drivers and the vehicles' efficiency. For example, when a metro brakes, it injects some of the electricity back into the grid. Furthermore, a lot of attention is paid to eco-friendly infrastructure in renovation and construction projects... 

100% green electricity

Besides vehicles and infrastructure, energy supply plays an important part in the sustainability strategy. The energy consumed by MIVB is certified as 100% renewable, thanks to the guarantee of origin system, or is locally produced thanks to solar panels.

MIVB's energy needs will only grow in the years to come. For example, the goal is to have its entire bus fleet electric by 2035. In this context, MIVB went on searching for different energy sources. Above all, they aimed to depend on market fluctuations to the minimum and focus on local consumption.  

It's a matter of finding the right balance between the traditional market and off-site solutions.

Thibaut Van Vyve • Asset Manager Energy MIVB

Looking for a green, local, off-site energy source 

Thibaut Van Vyve, Asset Manager Energy at MIVB: “As a public corporation, we need a long-term vision to allocate our budgets. A few years ago, however, we already forecasted that the traditional energy market would become more volatile. Therefore, we wanted to complement the volatility of the traditional market with a deal that would give us more certainty. To do this, we started looking for new off-site energy sources on top of our solar panels. And doing so as green and local as possible..” 

To fill those needs, MIVB submitted a question to AYA. The challenge in doing so is  not only to develop the right procurement strategy, but also to look for an off-site project.

AYA sees in Aspiravi the ideal partner to supply wind energy to MIVB. Since April 2023, MIVB has therefore signed an agreement with Aspiravi to purchase local wind energy. 

Aspiravi has more than 20 years of experience in wind energy. That represents 405 wind turbines and over 1600 MW of installed capacity. In doing so, the project developer provides green energy for 1.5 million families. Thanks to its partnership with MIVB, Aspiravi is now also facilitating power supply to commercial customers for the very first time.

A major greening thanks to wind power

MIVB will purchase 100% of the green electricity produced by the recently built wind farms in Pelt, Ruddervoorde and Wervik. This will allow MIVB to significantly green its power purchase and consumption.

Alexandre Indekeu, Energy Manager at AYA: “Wind energy not only reduces dependency of fossil fuels, it is also an inexhaustible resource that will always be in supply. Think of the buses that can recharge even at night. 

Power Purchase Agreement

A PPA is a win-win: revenue security for the producer, budget security for the buyer.

 Alexandre Indekeu • Energy Manager

MIVB and Aspiravi formalised the agreement in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). In doing so AYA acted as an independent advisory knowledge partner between buyer and producer and also guided everything contractually. The result is a five-year contract for the supply of 50 GWh/year. That is equivalent to 20 per cent of MIVB's high-voltage consumption. 

"As a developer of green power such as wind power, it is still quite unique today to get a fixed price for production," Alexandre emphasises. "It is a win-win situation, as the producer benefits from income security and the customer from budget security."

A clear fit between producer and buyer  

 Bert Deprest, Market and Portfolio Manager at Aspiravi: “We have noticed that companies are more and more seeking to purchase their energy straight from the producer. That's why at Aspiravi we choose to assist commercial clients in their energy transition. At the time AYA approached us with the MIVB demand, we had some units under full construction that could be used for this project.”

However, there has to be a 100% fit with the buyer. Bert: "Not every party can handle the produced capacity of eight wind turbines. We needed a customer who was completely on board. Not only in terms of volume, but also in terms of vision."

AYA, with their knowledge and experience, ensured that expectations and confidence were right with all parties.

Bert Deprest • Market and Portfolio Manager Aspiravi

Thibaut adds: "Working with AYA is also an absolute added value for us. They have a large network of partners. In a few months, we were able to conclude an agreement, not evident in the context of a public tender."

A sustainable future  

In the coming months and years, the focus for MIVB and AYA will be on tracking invoicing and fine-tuning the procurement strategy. In doing so, MIVB is thinking about additional PPAs. 

“We know that the market is becoming more diversified, but also more complex," concludes Thibaut. "We expect even more changes and more diverse ways to purchase PPAs. AYA knows the market best and we will continue to rely on the advice they give us in the future, as we have been doing. They started working on our needs so we were able to focus on our business : developing the public transport network."