Renewables

Kosovo* receives financing for 120 MW solar power plant on coal ash dump

Kosovo financing 120 MW solar power plant on coal ash dump

Photo: Thomas Coker on Unsplash

Published

March 24, 2024

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Published:

March 24, 2024

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The European Investment Bank is providing a EUR 33 million loan for a solar power plant of 120 MW in peak capacity. Government-controlled power utility KEK plans to install it on its former coal ash dump near Prishtina.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a EUR 33 million investment loan for the construction of a photovoltaic plant in Kosovo* with a connection to the grid of up to 100 MW, translated to 120 MW in peak capacity.

The financing package for the Solar4Kosovo project is part of the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans of EUR 9 billion in grants. It is aimed at mobilizing a total of EUR 30 billion.

Solar power project involves EUR 32 million EU grant

The proposed facility is expected to produce 169 GWh per year, EIB said. The location, owned by government-controlled Kosovo Energy Corp. (KEK), is on the former ash dump of its Kosovo A power plant. The electricity producer is also getting a EUR 32 million grant via the EU’s Western Balkans Investment Framework.

“As one of the largest renewable energy developments in the region under Team Europe, this project will help Kosovo* achieve its energy security and renewable energy goals. Together with the European Commission and other partners, we are glad to be able to jointly help Kosovo* lay the groundwork for the decarbonisation of the local economy and diversification of the energy mix, in line with the EU Green Agenda,” said EIB’s Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris.

Investment valued at EUR 107 million in total

Germany’s KfW Development bank is providing a EUR 29 million loan. The project’s total value, including KEK’s own funds, is estimated at EUR 107 million. The solar power plant between the towns of Obiliq/Obilić and Fushë Kosova (called Kosovo Polje in Serbian), near Prishtina, would have an underground connection to the existing substation at the Kosovo A thermal power plant.

“This project, the largest of its kind in the region, not only guarantees a sustainable energy production method but also accelerates Kosovo’s shift from conventional energy sources,” according to Kosovo’s Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers Hekuran Murati.

Kosovo* is dependent on obsolete Kosovo A and Kosovo B coal plants for almost all its electricity. Renewables projects are gradually gaining traction.

The other part of the Solar4Kosovo project is for a solar thermal facility for the nearby capital city’s district heating system. The site is in the village of Shkabaj (Orlović) in Obiliq municipality.

In other news, the government in Prishtina established Energy Storage Corp. or ESCorp. It will manage the project for batteries with total operating power of 125 MW and 250 MWh in capacity. It is funded by the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) of the United States.

The remaining 45 MW (90 MWh) is expected to be owned by Transmission, System and Market Operator (KOSTT). The battery systems are envisaged to store surplus electricity and stabilize the frequency in the transmission system. They are valued at USD 180 million altogether.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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