Renewables

Green transformation of Bulgarian coal power plant Bobov Dol

Green transformation of Bulgarian coal power plant Bobov Dol

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Published

September 21, 2022

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Published:

September 21, 2022

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After introducing biomass into the mix, coal-fired Bobov Dol power plant in Bulgaria is preparing to build a 100 MW solar power plant for the production of green hydrogen to further diversify energy sources.

The controversial Bobov Dol thermal power plant is making progress with projects intended to keep it afloat. The facility in western Bulgaria has been struggling to meet increasingly strict environmental protection regulations as well as complaints and lawsuits from the local population and civil society organizations. Shutting down the coal-fired plant would also mean the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The privately-owned facility has received a permit for the construction of a photovoltaic plant of 100 MW, which is envisaged to power electrolyzers that would produce green hydrogen, Chief Executive Officer Lyubomir Spasov told the country’s public broadcaster BNR. 

Photovoltaic unit to be built on former slag dump

The plant currently uses coal and biomass from straw in its two units of 300 MW each, he said. Spasov estimated the investment at more than EUR 51 million.

Bobov Dol currently uses coal and biomass from straw

The solar power plant will be built on 140 hectares at the thermal power plant’s former slag dump near the village of Kamenik. The contractor for the delivery of solar panels, construction and other works has been selected and the contract should be signed soon, the report adds. The start of the project’s implementation is scheduled for November and it should be completed by 2025, the news outlet reported.

Green hydrogen is planned to be used in future gas power plant

Bobov Dol is also planning to begin using gas as a transitory fuel in the switch to clean sources. Spasov earlier said the plant would be connected to a pipeline going to North Macedonia by the end of the year. A combined heat and power turbine with an electricity production capacity of 180 MW is required for the project, he pointed out. The CEO said the unit would run on an equal mix of natural gas and green hydrogen.

The company has faced legal challenges for allegations that it burned waste illegally.

Of note, Toplofikatsia Pernik from the city of Pernik, a producer and supplier of heat and electricity and district heating, recently said that it is working to replace coal with natural gas and biofuels.

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