Zelena Energetska Zadruga (ZEZ) has successfully collected HRK 172,000 (about EUR 23,200) in only 48 hours for the construction of a solar power plant, under its second crowdfunding project financed through micro loans through a campaign called Križevački Sunčani Krovovi. Under the first project, ZEZ needed 10 days to collect the needed funds from citizens.
Last year, ZEZ installed a 30 kW solar power plant, the first such project in Croatia, on the roof of the Development Center and Technology Park owned by the Croatian town of Križevci.
The second power plant, with the sae installed capacity, will be located on the roof of the Franjo Marković library.
Citizens had an opportunity to invest money in a solar power plant by providing a 10-year loan to ZEZ with a 4.5% annual interest rate.
The lowest amount of the investment was HRK 1,000 (about EUR 134) and the highest HRK 7,500 (about EUR 1,012).
Some 40 people seized the opportunity. Under the first project, the funds were invested by a dozen people more, and the investments were a bit higher – HRK 230,000 (about EUR 27,000).
ZEZ will use the collected funds to buy a solar power plant and place it on the roof of the Franjo Marković library.
It will generate electricity for the library’s needs, while ZEZ will receive compensation from the library for a period of 10 years. The fee is fixed and equal to the amount of expected savings in the consumption of electricity due to electricity generation by the power plant. The fee will be used to repay loans to investors.
The success of the campaign is the result of experience, work and excellent cooperation between the local community and ZEZ, said Hajdana Rukavina, project manager at ZEZ.
She said that this campaign will be used as a role model for future projects in other cities.
The campaign was implemented by ZEZ in cooperation with the City of Križevci.
Renewable energy cooperatives are a well-established concept in western EU countries, while the Balkans is only just making baby steps in this direction, Melani Furlan, head of regional activities at ZEZ, wrote in op-ed for Balkan Green Energy News.