Renewables

Agrisolar project of 148 MW underway on Montenegro-Serbia border

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Published

April 13, 2023

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Published:

April 13, 2023

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Hungary-based BSD Invest Europe is planning to install a solar park with a peak capacity of 148.3 MW in the municipality of Rožaje in Montenegro, via a local subsidiary. The company said the facility, on the border with Serbia, would be simultaneously used for sheep farming and growing berries.

The agrisolar concept is becoming popular for photovoltaic projects in the Western Balkans for locations with any potential for agricultural activity. One such endeavor was recently launched in Montenegro, where dozens of applications for utility-scale solar power facilities have been filed in the past months.

There are no large photovoltaic plants in the country yet. Montenegro had only 26 MW of capacity in the segment at the end of last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The two currently biggest projects are for 506 MW in connection capacity and 400 MW, both in Cetinje.

Serbian town of Tutin is just few kilometers away

The new agrisolar or agrivoltaics project is under development by BSD Mont. It intends to build a solar park with a peak capacity of 148.3 MW and connection capacity of 123.6 MW. In a request to the Environmental Protection Agency of Montenegro to determine whether an environmental impact assessment is necessary, it estimated annual output at 219.9 GWh. In the meantime, the agency obligated the firm to conduct the said study.

The location, in the vicinity of the village of Vuča in the municipality of Rožaje, is just next to the country’s northeastern border. The Serbian town of Tutin is just a few kilometers away, according to the map.

The solar park is envisaged to be designed in a way to allow sheep grazing, the document reads. The investor said it intends to have 2,000 sheep at the property and grow raspberries and chokeberries.

Agrivoltaic project is valued at more than EUR 200 million

The future agrivoltaic facility is planned to consist of three units with 14.8 MW, 11.3 MW and 122.2 MW in peak capacity, while their respective connection capacity would be 12.3 MW, 9.3 MW and 102 MW.

BSD Mont, based in Podgorica, is 70% owned by Hungarian renewables developer BSD Invest Europe, according to the Montenegrin business registry. Konstantinos Georgilas holds a 25% share, and the rest is controlled by Michail Pavlidis. The land used to belong to defunct firm Agrobisernica.

The location spans 194 hectares. BSD Mont earlier estimated the investment at more than EUR 200 million.

Of note, Akuo Energy is developing major agrisolar projects in North Macedonia and Greece. In Serbia, Fintel energija and MK Group launched the 660 MW Agrosolar Kula project in 2021 for the simultaneous production of agricultural crops and solar power.

Israel-based L.O.I 360 Strategy and Business Development intends to install a 75 MW agrisolar park in Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia.

Two affiliated firms launch solar power projects in Šavnik, Podgorica

Two firms headquartered in Montenegro’s seaside town of Kotor and both owned and led by Radoica Vuković have also recently asked the agency to determine whether they would be obligated to conduct environmental studies for their photovoltaic projects.

Sunrise Europe, which earlier received the urban planning and technical requirements from the Government of Montenegro, is working on a project for 225 MW in connection capacity in Šavnik, on the territory of villages Dubrovsko and Duži. The location spans 275 hectares at 1,000 to 1,060 meters above sea level, of which solar panels would cover 110 hectares.

The investor already obtained the urban planning and technical requirements for its project in Šavnik of 225 MW, one of the biggest in Montenegro

In the accompanying document, the investor calculated that a photovoltaic facility of 229 MW in peak capacity and a connection of 195 MW would generate 286 GWh in the first year of operation.

Sunrise Europe is an affiliate of Golden Group, which intends to install 12.5 MW in peak capacity in Draževina near the capital city of Podgorica on 19.4 hectares, of which 16 hectares are available for solar arrays. The connection capacity is estimated at 10.4 MW.

TM Invest from Podgorica is developing the blueprints for solar parks of 15 MW and 18 MW in connection capacity near Nikšić

Just after obtaining the urban planning and technical requirements for its photovoltaic unit of up to 15 MW in connection capacity in Povija in Nikšić, TM Invest from Podgorica succeeded in making the same step a week ago for another project. The two locations for a maximum 18 MW in total connection capacity are also near Montenegro’s second-largest city, in the vicinity of the village of Bogetići, the update reveals.

Also this month, state-owned EPCG-Solar-gradnja, a subsidiary of Montenegro’s power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore, signed a memorandum with renewables developer Obnovljivi izvori energije (OIE Podgorica). The two companies said they intend to cooperate in the construction of solar power plant Čevo (225 MW) and wind power plant Bijela (118 MW).

EPCG-Solar-gradnja is also seen as a contractor for wind farm project Korita, which is under development, the announcement reads.

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