Renewables

First municipal solar park in Western Balkans to be built in Mostar

Mostar BiH concession first municipal solar park in Western Balkans

Photo: Sotirios Karaoulanis from Pixabay

Published

August 14, 2023

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Published:

August 14, 2023

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0

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Public utility firm Komunalno Mostar got a concession approved for a solar park of 50 MW. It would make Mostar the first local authority with a utility-scale renewable electricity plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans.

Municipal authorities and their local utilities and institutions throughout Southeastern Europe are increasingly turning to renewable energy to lower their bills. The first step is usually to install solar panels on the roofs of public buildings. Some countries have allowed local authorities to form or participate in energy communities and cooperatives as well.

The City of Mostar in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina is developing a utility-scale solar power project of 49.9 MW. It is the largest in the Western Balkans. Mayor Mario Kordić said earlier that the facility would be used for own consumption and added construction would begin before the end of the year.

Komunalno solar park to have ten units of same size

Municipal utility Komunalno Mostar, in charge of waste management, parks, local roads and public lighting, got a concession for the solar park. The Government of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton approved the application at a session in late July, alongside six other projects. The entire portfolio is 213 MW in nominal capacity.

Komunalno intends to install ten units of 4.99 MW each

Mostar is the largest city in Herzegovina, the southern part of BiH, abundant in sunlight. The canton is part of the Federation of BiH, which is one of the two entities that form the country. The other one is called the Republic of Srpska.

Komunalno Mostar filed an application in February with transmission system operator (TSO) Elektroprenos-Elektroprijenos BiH for connection terms for 10 units of 4.99 MW each or 49.9 MW in total. The initial project was for 12 equal units with just under 60 MW in total size. The location is in the vicinity of the village of Polog in the city territory.

Mostar to establish photovoltaic cluster

In addition, the TSO said the company would pool its units with Globalis from Mostar and IM Sunce from Čitluk for a total connection of 120 MW for the solar power cluster.

In the latest round, Komunalno Mostar and three more firms got concessions for 30 years while two solar parks were approved for 25 years and one got a green light for 20 years. The biggest project in the batch was launched by state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda HZHB (EPHZHB). It is getting a 30-year concession for 150 MW in Hodovo in the municipality of Stolac.

The investment is valued at EUR 92 million. The authorities said the company was obligated to pay a one-off fee of EUR 238,000. As for Komunalno Mostar, its tally is EUR 90,500.

The Government of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton said it would sign a 30-year concession contract

Furthermore, the cantonal government said it signed concession contracts with four companies for solar power plants of 30.3 MW in total. One of them, Pozitron, intends to install six units of 4.5 MW each, also in Polog.

Of note, the Sarajevo Canton intends to establish a public company for the production of electricity from renewables. A few similar initiatives are underway in North Macedonia as well.

Three years ago, the Municipality of Volos in Greece started a project for two photovoltaic units of a combined 50 MW to lower the energy costs of its buildings and utility firms and assist low-income households. Two local authorities in the country even started to develop paperwork for pumped storage hydropower plants.

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