Renewables

Photovoltaic project of 50 MW underway next to coal complex in North Macedonia

Photovoltaic 50 MW coal complex North Macedonia

Photo: Fabersam from Pixabay

Published

February 3, 2022

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Published:

February 3, 2022

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The Municipality of Novaci in North Macedonia, home to the country’s largest thermal power plant – REK Bitola, is making efforts to transform its economy ahead of the 2030 coal phaseout. DTPU Mej grup is preparing to build a 50 MW solar power plant.

Mayor of Novaci Stevče Stevanovski met with the representatives of DTPU Mej grup from Skopje, which intends to install a 50 MW solar power plant, and owners of the land where an overhead power line would be built to connect the project to the grid. He said they discussed legal and property issues that need to be resolved to implement the project.

The municipality in the southwest of North Macedonia is home to the country’s largest thermal power complex – REK Bitola. The government has just announced it would phase out coal by 2030, which could be a major blow to the local economy.

The local authority in Novaci is contributing to the transformation of the local economy by enabling private investments in renewable energy

State-owned utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM), which operates the coal mines and power plant, is developing several solar power projects in the area, envisaged to partly replace the capacity. According to the information posted on its website, it plans to build photovoltaic units of 20 MW, 40 MW and 100 MW at the site of the coal complex.

The company recently started the construction of a district heating pipeline from REK Bitola, as a 200 MW gas-fired cogeneration plant should also be built there, followed by another unit with a matching capacity. They would be fed via a planned gas pipeline from Greece.

State-controlled electricity producer ESM plans to replace REK Bitola with solar and gas power plants

The local authority in Novaci seems eager to do its part and boost investments in renewable energy by attracting private capital. The 57-hectare site for DTPU Mej’s solar power plant is in Biljanik and Ribarci, next to REK Bitola. The municipality said construction would start soon.

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