Renewables

Montenegro finally scraps bids for Briska Gora solar power project

montenegro finally scraps bids for briska gora solar power project

Photo: JillWellington from Pixabay

Published

June 26, 2024

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Published:

June 26, 2024

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A new tendering commission for the Briska Gora solar power plant project in Montenegro has annulled the 2018 bidder ranking decision, bringing the entire process back to square one. The Constitutional Court of Montenegro overturned the bidder ranking decision already in September 2022, following an appeal by one of the bidders, the Montesolar consortium. The project is also controversial due to its potential adverse impact on biodiversity and cultural heritage.

The tender was for the lease of land at the planned location of the Briska Gora solar power plant. Initially, the facility’s proposed capacity was 250 MW, but it was later increased to 262 MW.

The commission has now declared all bids invalid, citing mainly technical irregularities, such as the lack of translated documents. According to the 2018 ranking, the top bidder was the consortium of government-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG), Finland’s state power company Fortum, and Sterling & Wilson International Solar FZCO, a provider of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for photovoltaics. The second-ranked bidder was the IREDL consortium, while the offer from the Montesolar consortium was deemed invalid already upon opening.

The solar power plant was to be built by EPCG and Finnish state power company Fortum

Last week, environmental organization Green Home hosted a round table to discuss the potential impacts of the Briska Gora solar power plant project. It brought together representatives of relevant institutions, including the Ministry of Energy and Mining, as well as of EPCG and the civil sector.

Renewable energy projects should also be environmentally justified

One of the conclusions from the round table is that despite the need to implement a green transition in Montenegro, projects to build renewable energy plants should be sustainable and environmentally acceptable. They should not be expedited just because contracts have already been signed, Green Home said in a statement.

Green Home: Briska Gora is a key biodiversity area, but no relevant study was conducted for the solar project

In this regard, the location of the planned solar power plant should be reviewed to avoid the potential landscape degradation, deforestation, and adverse impacts on birds, biodiversity, cultural heritage and the local population of this area, according to participants in the round table.

Despite Briska Gora being a key biodiversity area and an important bird habitat, no biodiversity baseline study was conducted for the project, claims Green Home.

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