Renewables

Bids open in Albania solar power auction for 140 MW in Karavasta

Albania, EBRD, solar power aucitons

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Published

January 21, 2020

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Published:

January 21, 2020

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The Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy said investors have until March 16 to submit applications for the construction of a photovoltaic plant at the coast southwest of capital Tirana. Albania scheduled a public event for April 7 to pick the operator for the 140 MW solar power system.

Minister Belinda Balluku presented the auction process, open for international investors. The Karavasta Park site is near the eponymous wetland and lagoon. The authorities in Albania claimed planners of the giant solar power have avoided the protected area.

The assessment of prequalification and technical criteria lasts until March 26. Complaints will be received by March 31 and responses have to be issued by April 6, officials revealed.

The process is in the form of an auction, where the lowest electricity price offer wins

The utility-scale electricity production will be conducted on 122 hectares in Remas in the municipality of Divjakë and another 76 hectares in Libofshë in Fier, documents showed. Balluku stressed the project is part of the government’s efforts to diversify energy supply with renewables.

The model was built “step by step” with the help of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, she added. The ministry fully accepted its advice and best practices from European countries, in the minister’s words. Strategic partners have endorsed the procedure, which enables transparency and thus greater participation, she stated.

Albania is striving to diversify supply as it depends on hydropower

The selected bidder won’t need to negotiate with Oshee, the state-owned transmission operator of Albania, as the solar power uptake contract is included. The development permit is among the documents already, too.

Balluku pointed to the country’s dependence on hydropower and, at the same time, rainfall. Albania aims to reduce imports by installing solar arrays and facilities running on other alternative sources, she said.

In a domestic study conducted after a document produced by the World Bank, the Balkan country was divided into three regions by efficiency in photovoltaic terms.

Output from half of the capacity in Karavasta will be traded in the open market, while the remainder will have a fixed price

The contract with the winner should be signed on May 8, the ministry revealed. Albania plans to sell output from 70 MW of the solar unit’s capacity at the market. Production from the other half of the system in the vicinity of Divjakë-Karavasta National Park will have a privileged price for 15 years, according to Balluku.

She estimated the endeavor would be worth EUR 100 million in total. The ceiling price is EUR 55 per 1 MWh and the lowest bid wins.

Minister Belinda Baluku estimates the project’s value at EUR 100 million

The first such contract in Albania and the region was awarded more than a year ago for a 100 MW solar power plant near Vlora. A group of firms led by India Power Corp. was picked for the project in Akërni, also next to a lagoon, valued at EUR 70 million. It asked for EUR 59.9 per 1 MWh for the half of capacity that has a fixed price.

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