Electricity

Bulgaria’s NEK gets help to prepare construction of two large pumped storage hydropower plants

bulgaria NEK pumped storage hydropower batak dospat

Photo: NEK

Published

June 14, 2024

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Published:

June 14, 2024

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide advisory support to Bulgaria’s state-owned power utility Natsionalna Elektricheska Kompania EAD (NEK) to prepare the construction of two large pumped storage hydropower plants in the southwestern part of the country.

The pair of new renewable energy sources, named Batak and Dospat, will each add generation capacity of approximately 800 MW and expand storage capacity, strengthening electricity supply in Bulgaria and the European Union, NEK and EIB said in a joint press release.

Under the agreement EIB Advisory will examine the technical feasibility and economic viability of the two projects as well as assess their benefits and risks. This will help NEK to make decisions on the implementation of the two projects.

NEK and EIB said that the estimated total cost of each project is about EUR 900 million, while the plan is to start production by 2032.

The pair of new renewable energy sources is located at hydropower cascade dams and reservoirs near the towns of Batak and Dospat in southwest Bulgaria.

bulgaria nek batak dospat pumped storage hydropower

The two projects are part of the Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) 2024 of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), NEK and EIB noted.

EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris said that they will provide the bank’s expertise in assessing the feasibility and the viability of the two projects, which can significantly impact Bulgaria’s energy mix and enhance the stability of its power grid while reinforcing the overall European energy grid infrastructure.

Malinov: The implementation of such projects will enhance our energy security

According to interim Energy Minister, Vladimir Malinov, pumped-storage hydropower plants could become the largest energy storage batteries in the region.

“The implementation of such projects will enhance our energy security, improve Bulgaria’s energy infrastructure and achieve our decarbonization goals,” Malinov stressed.

NEK CEO Martin Georgiev said that the agreement marks an important step not only for the development of the Batak and Dospat PSHPP projects but also for ensuring the security of supply within Bulgaria’s electricity system.

bulgaria nek pumped storage hydropower batak dospat eib

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