EPBiH set to build its first solar power plants to replace coal

EPBiH in green transition – solar power plants on site of former coal mines

Photo: blickpixel from Pixabay


July 30, 2022





July 30, 2022




As part of its decarbonization efforts, state-owned energy utility Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine (EPBiH) is working on projects for the construction of solar power plants at the sites of former coal mines and the slag and ash dumps at thermal power plants in Tuzla and Kakanj. The company issued a public call for the construction of a 15 MW photovoltaic plant Gornja Breza, to contribute to the energy sector’s switch to renewable energy sources.

Sarajevo-based Elektroprivreda BiH has launched a tender for a turnkey contract for the construction of a 15 MW photovoltaic plant in the municipality of Breza, north of the capital. The deadline is September 30.

The site is at the Breza brown coal mine complex, which consists of two underground facilities and one open-pit mine. The solar power plant will span 21 hectares.

The estimated value of the project excluding value-added tax is EUR 11.2 million, and the deadline for completion is 24 months from the date when the contract comes into force.

Decarbonization of EPBiH

By 2030, EPBiH intends to build solar power plants at its coal mines Breza, Kakanj, and Kreka and the slag and ash dump at the Tuzla thermal power plant.

The public company built its first wind farm on the Podveležje plateau near Mostar, as part of a strategy to increase the share of green energy.

EPBiH intends to completely abandon coal after 2050 and rely on hydroelectric plants and renewable sources. However, the decommissioning of two units at coal plants Tuzla and Kakanj has been postponed due to the energy crisis.

The company has the task of taking care of miners and other employees in mines and thermal power plants. It said some would receive training to work on solar power plant projects.

Agreement on a future solar power plant in Banovići

EPBiH and the Municipality of Banovići reached an agreement on the construction of a 10 MW solar power plant. The tender will be launched in early September, according to the local authority.

The tender for the construction of a solar power plant in Banovići will be open at the beginning of September.

EPBiH plans to build six photovoltaic plants by 2030, with a total capacity of about 210 MW. The company said solar radiation measurements showed that all projects are cost-effective.

Biomass instead of coal

Elektroprivreda BiH planted fast-growing willow trees on two hectares at the Kreka and Breza mine complexes to partly replace coal with biomass. The project is envisaged to expand to several dozen hectares.

EPBiH signed a concession agreement in mid-July for the construction of two solar power plants of up to 50 MW in total. The units will be built at the tailings dump of the Gračanica coal mine in Bugojno. The investment is estimated at EUR 30.6 million.

Recently, EPBiH officially abandoned the construction of unit 7 at the Tuzla thermal power plant.

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