City in western Romania aims to be first to achieve energy independence

Resita city western Romania first achieve energy independence

Photo: Eugen D. /


September 11, 2023






September 11, 2023





The local authority in Reșița got the technical connection approval for a 21 MW photovoltaic park, intended to generate electricity for its educational institutions, public lighting and transportation.

A solar power plant on 30 hectares is set to supply the Municipality of Reșița in western Romania and the local institutions under its helm. The city of almost 60,000 people has an ambition to become the first in the country to become energy independent and decarbonize the energy system, Mayor Ioan Popa announced.

He revealed the local authority would apply for European funds and that it would need to cofinance the endeavor with EUR 3 million. The plan is to issue green municipal bonds early next month.

Reșița to cover cofinancing expenses with green bonds

After the completion of the feasibility study for the 21 MW facility and obtaining several approvals, the municipality now got the technical approval for the connection to the distribution network. Reșița is located close to the border with Serbia. It is the capital of the Caraș-Severin County, where E-distribuție Banat operates the grid. The firm is controlled by Italy-based Enel. Public Power Corp. (PPC) from Greece is taking over all its operations in Romania.

A solar power plant of such a size would normally be connected to the transmission network. But the mayor said the photovoltaic park would consist of two units. One half would be used by the municipality, mostly for educational units, public lighting and trams and electric buses, he explained.

The other part, operated by a newly established firm, would produce electricity for sale. Popa estimated that the facility would generate up to EUR 4 million in annual income. The project was launched less than a year ago.

Municipal solar power plant projects are popping up across Balkans

Individual state and local institutions in Romania also have the option to become prosumers. Except for modest capacities on rooftops of public buildings, municipal photovoltaic parks and other renewable electricity plants are a new concept in the country. Notably, such initiatives are popping up in other countries in Southeastern Europe as well while in Turkey they are already mainstream.

In addition, regulations in the European Union provide a possibility for local authorities to set up and participate in energy communities and cooperatives. They can generate electricity for self-consumption and the market.

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