The Montenegrin Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism issued an operating permit late in August 2017 for the Krnovo wind farm which started tests of its wind turbines in May this year. The Krnovo wind farm is a EUR 120 million investment which led the Montenegrin authorities to decide to raise subsidies for electricity from renewable sources to a level 3.5 times higher at the start of the year.
The Montenegrin Ministry of the Economy said that it would lower those subsidies for power from renewable sources next year unless the Krnovo wind farm starts operating by the end of this year. The subsidies for power from renewable sources was increased in January from EUR 0.129 per kWh to EUR 0.473.
The Krnovo wind farm start test production in May but decided to postpone its inclusion in the national power grid until November. Spokesman for the investors Luka Popović said the turbine tests are almost over adding that they took so long because the wind level were lower in the test period.
“The Krnovo wind power plant is expected to get the status of privileged producer which will allow the investors to sign a contract on the purchase of electricity with the Montenegrin Electricity Exchange Operator COTEE and only then will the power produced there be paid for at the subsidized prices,” Montenegrin media were told at the Ministry of the Economy.
The wind farm was built by the Austrian company Ivicom Consulting and the French Akuo Energy. Construction started in mid-2015 and the wind farm now has installed power of 72 MW with the investors planning to produce some 200 GWh a year.
The Montenegrin government signed a contract with the Krnovo wind farm owners under which it is obliged to guarantee a fixed price of EUR 95.99 per MWh for the first 12 years of production.
Montenegrin media reported that the subsidies for power from renewable sources is approved for producers only after their power plants get operating licenses and are on the national grid. The Krnovo wind farm is not on the Montenegrin grid and does not have the right to those subsidies.
The following companies have the status of privileged power producer in Montenegro – Hidroenergija Montenegro (for the small hydro power plants Jezerštica, Bistrica, Orah, Rmuš, Spaljevići 1 and Šekular in Berane) Sinerdži (for the small hydro power plant Vrelo in Bijelo Polje), Igma enerdži (for the small hydro power plant Bradavec in Andrijevica) and Kronor (for the small hydro power plant Jara Plav).
According to data from the COTEE, the owners of small hydro power plants received EUR 1,423,009 in subsidies in the first five months of 2017.