Energy expert Nenad Jovanović has created a map with the sites for power plant projects for which Serbia’s transmission system operator EMS received grid connection requests.
Together with the future 40 MW solar park South Two in Prokuplje, for which Hive Energy applied for grid connection, 121 renewable electricity projects are on the waiting list in Serbia. The country’s transmission system operator Elektromreža Srbije, EMS, received requests for 49 wind farms and 68 solar power plants.
The list includes pumped storage hydropower project Bistrica (700 MW) in the Nova Varoš municipality, the fourth unit in the Potpeć hydroelectric facility, 13.8 MW, and two systems combining solar panels and wind generators. They are Energetski kompleks Braničevo (50 MW) in the village of Usije near Golubac and CWP’s project Lederata (150 MW) in Veliko Gradište and Požarevac.
There is 19.9 GW in total in the pipeline.
Energy consultant Nenad Jovanović, who has a PhD degree in electrical engineering, marked the approximate locations of all the projects on an online map and added basic information. The presentation includes the existing wind power plants on EMS’s network: Alibunar, Čibuk 1, Košava and Kovačica. There are still no solar parks on the transmission grid in Serbia.
Grid connection secured for only five projects in development
Geographically, the greatest concentration of projects, mostly wind parks, is in south Banat. The area in Serbia’s northeast hosts all four existing wind power plants connected to the transmission grid. On the other hand, just in the small municipality of Kladovo there are sites for five photovoltaic plants of almost 2 GW in total capacity!
Such investments would probably require 2,000 or more hectares of land. A 1 GW solar power plant, the biggest project in EMS’s entire list, is in Kladovo, which is on the Danube, bordering Romania. It would currently be the biggest in Europe and almost equivalent to the largest planned photovoltaic system in Europe, which Iberdrola plans to finish in 2025. Of note, a solar power plant of 1 GW in connection capacity was recently commissioned in Turkey, but in Asia Minor.
However, the Kladovo project is one of the 88 items for which only the initial request has been filed.
The procedure in Serbia involves three contracts: on the production of a connection study, the development of planning and technical documentation and obtaining the necessary permits for the start of construction, and on monitoring the installation of the connection. Only seven projects, all for wind farms, have met all the three conditions:
- Vetrozelena (300 MW), in Kostolac,
- Crni vrh (150 MW), on the territories of the municipalities of Žagubica and Majdanpek and the City of Bor,
- Krivača (103.32) in Golubac,
- Plandište 1 (102)
- Alibunar 1 and 2 (96 MW and 71.4 MW, respectively) and
- Kostolac (66 MW).
Krivača and Kostolac are already under construction.
Wind power plants in the procedure for connecting to the electricity transmission system would have an overall 8.7 GW. The biggest one is Fintel’s Maestrale Ring in Subotica, with 800 MW registered. At this moment it would be the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe, too. The connection study, the first of the three steps, is underway.
Next by size in the category are Stiško polje 2 (500 MW), which state-owned power producer Elektriprivreda Srbije is developing for a site in Veliko Gradište, Požarevac and Malo Crniće. It is followed by CWP’s Vetrogon, of 450 MW, in the municipalities of Srbobran and Bečej. Stiško polje 1 in Veliko Gradište and Požarevac is envisaged at 350 MW, and the list continues with four projects of 300 MW each including Vetrozelena.
Solarina is only solar power project with two out of three contracts with EMS
Photovoltaic projects have 10.3 GW in total. After the one in Kladovo, Fintel and MK Group’s 660 MW agrisolar endeavor in Kula is the largest. Third in the list is a proposed solar park in Nova Crnja, with 600 MW in capacity.
The Solarina project of 150 MW for a site near the village of Salaš in Zaječar, is the only one with the first two contracts signed, while five more PV investments reached only the study stage. The investor, CWP, is counting on connecting the facility next year.
In the documentation, EPS set the estimated date for the commissioning of pumped storage hydropower plant Bistrica at 2030, which is the longest deadline on EMS’s list.
In addition to the aforementioned facilities, EPS is soon finishing its Kostolac B3 coal-fired power plant. It is possible it would be the last one in Europe.