Vocational school center Vuk Karadžić in Lopare became the first prosumer in Bosnia and Herzegovina with its 25 kW solar rooftop unit. The Municipality of Lopare is continuing to pioneer renewable energy use and the energy transition in the country and the Western Balkans.
The solar power plant on the Vuk Karadžić secondary school was installed as part of the Sunny Schools project, implemented by the Open Society Fund in all Western Balkan countries. The grant, in combination with a donation from Tuzla-based Partner Microcredit Foundation – MKF Partner, enabled four schools in BiH to get photovoltaic units on their roofs that can cover their entire electricity consumption.
The other beneficiaries are three primary schools in the municipalities of Živinice, Doboj Istok and Gračanica. Also involved were the Center for Sustainable Energy Transition – RESET and the Institute of Advanced Systems and Technologies (ATS), which designed and installed the facilities.
Miljević: The Federation of BiH and Brčko District still lack the bylaws regulating the prosumer status
Damir Miljević, a member of the Management Board of RESET, said the school in Lopare has quickly succeeded in meeting the administrative requirements and obtaining the status of a prosumer or buyer-producer of electricity.
During the endeavour, it established good cooperation with the local authorities, the power distribution company in nearby Bijeljina and the Ministry of Mining and Energy.
The town of Lopare is in the Republic of Srpska, one of the two entities that make up BiH. The other one is called the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The municipality is located in the country’s northeast.
“It became the first prosumer in BiH because the Federation of BiH and Brčko District still lack the bylaws and rulebooks that would enable consumers to obtain the status, so the existing solar installations can’t deliver energy to the grid yet,” Miljević explained.
The solar power facility will save EUR 4,100 per year.
Operating under a net metering mechanism, the 25 kW solar power plant on the school in Lopare can cover its electricity needs completely throughout the year, he said. At current power prices, it will enable the municipality to save EUR 4,100 per annum, Miljević added.
Lopare Mayor Rado Savić agreed to allocate the sum for projects for the school’s students and their extracurricular activities.
Samir Avdaković from ATS said the power plant would produce 36,000 kWh annually and that the capacity can be increased. The firm has set up monitors for the students, teachers and everyone else to see data on solar power generation and the school’s consumption in real time, he noted.
Of note, Lopare was the first municipality in BiH and probably the entire Western Balkans to sign a cooperation agreement for the implementation of the energy transition. It arranged the deal with RESET in February.