Energy Economy

07 Aug 2021

Zaev: North Macedonia to Invest in 700 MW Solar Power Plant with Serbia, Albania

07 Aug 2021  by   

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said after a meeting with the leaders of Albania and Serbia that they would jointly invest in a photovoltaic system of 700 MW.

Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama committed at their summit in Skopje to strengthen economic ties as they renamed the trilateral Mini Schengen Area initiative to Open Balkan. It is based on the European Union’s four freedoms principle for the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital.

The three leaders called on the remaining three Western Balkan countries to join the group.

“We will invest together in probably the biggest photovoltaic station of about 700 MW,” Zaev said after the meeting in an interview with Tanjug from Serbia, but he failed to offer any details. Such a unit would now be the biggest in Europe.

North Macedonia’s ESM preparing to build photovoltaic plant of up to 350 MW

North Macedonia said in its investment plan through 2027 that it expects EUR 3.1 billion of public spending, private capital expenditure and grants in the energy sector. State-owned power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija or ESM is already developing solar power plant projects to replace coal plants. The country intends to stop using the harmful fossil fuel by 2027.

ESM was recently tasked with building a photovoltaic system of up to 350 MW near Štip.

Albania awarded its biggest projects through auctions

In Albania, Voltalia from France was selected at the latest auctions to install the 100 MW Spitalle project and the 140 MW Karavasta solar power plant. Private companies are working on three photovoltaic systems of 50 MW each in Fier. They won’t be eligible for any kind of subsidies.

Serbia has major plans in solar power sector

The Government of Serbia has just started to negotiate with Chicago-based UGT Renewables on the construction of ten or so solar power plants with a combined capacity of 1 GW. It is still unclear whether the company would install the photovoltaic units for state-owned power producer Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) or the project would be implemented in another form.

EPS has its own solar power endeavors in the pipeline at coal power plant ash dumps – one with the capacity of 97.2 MW and three of almost 10 MW each.

UGT Renewables said it would pick locations with land of low economic value. Of note, municipalities were recently authorized to lease low-grade state-owned agricultural land for renewable energy power plants.

There are only 11 MW in solar power systems installed in Serbia, or just above 20 MW, according to other estimates, but in April it passed the highly praised Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources, which may have opened the way for a rapid expansion in the sector. The two other countries have similar levels of capacity finished.

As for the private sector, last month Fintel Energija and MK Group announced their Agrosolar Kula project of 660 MW, which would make it the largest in Europe.

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