Renewables

28 GW of renewable energy projects requesting grid connection in Bulgaria

Bulgaria 28 GW renewables projects requesting grid connection

Photo: Corey Coyle / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

Published

October 7, 2022

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Published:

October 7, 2022

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Bulgaria’s TSO is receiving monthly requests for grid connection for 2 GW in future renewable electricity plants. However, the network capacity is limited, and according to the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission Chairman Ivan Ivanov, it couldn’t even integrate 4 GW in total. The overall size of the projects in the pipeline has topped 28 GW.

The interest in investments in renewable energy is surging in Bulgaria as the business sector is rushing to profit from high energy prices and European funds. At the same time, grid reconstruction and modernization are being sidelined, Mediapool reported.

The combined capacity of projects with requests sent to the Electricity System Operator (ESO), responsible for the transmission network, has just surpassed 28 GW, its Executive Director Angelin Tsachev revealed at a round table in Sofia. He warned that there is no immediate risk, but without investments in the grid, the country could experience blackouts from overloads, as quoted by BTA.

Tsachev: Without upgrading the power network, the deployment of renewables could cause overloads and blackouts

In addition, the transmission system operator, or TSO, has signed agreements with power distribution companies for another 3 GW, to be added in the next three to five years, Tsachev pointed out.

The size of projects in the pipeline is rising by 2 GW each month. Still, not even 4 GW could be added in total under the current conditions, according to the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC or KEVR) Chairman Ivan Ivanov. In the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, more than EUR 770 million was earmarked for storage devices and equipment for renewable electricity. At the same time, ESO is entitled to four times less, and power distributors get nothing, he stressed.

Ivanov said the plan needs to be revised and the funds redirected to network upgrades.

Power distribution firms get nothing from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Secretary General of Eurelectric Kristian Ruby also highlighted the pressure on the power networks from climate change. In his view, every investment in renewables needs to be matched with network upgrades equivalent to 15% of the project’s value.

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