State power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) has obtained the energy permit for the construction of its first wind farm. The energy permit was issued on December 31, 2018, according to a press release from EPS.
The construction of the Kostolac wind farm is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2019. The investment is valued at EUR 100 million, EPS acting General Manager Milorad Grčić recalled.
EPS and German development bank KfW signed an agreement in November 2017 on a EUR 80 million loan to finance the construction of the Kostolac wind farm, with an installed capacity of 66 MW.
This will be the first wind energy facility in EPS’ portfolio, which is dominated by coal-fired power plants.
According to earlier announcements, the Kostolac wind farm is expected to launch electricity production in 2020.
General Electric (GE), one of the world’s leading wind turbine suppliers, has expressed interest in the project.
The plan is for the wind farm to have 20 wind turbines, to be built on open-pit coal mines and the ash depository operated by EPS’ coal mining and electricity generation complex TE-KO Kostolac. The wind farm is expected to have an annual output of around 150 million kWh, which is sufficient to supply electricity to around 30,000 households.
In May 2018, Miloš Banjac, assistant energy minister for renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, said that EPS will get incentives under the feed-in tariff model for the production of the Kostolac wind farm if it applies to obtain temporary privileged producer status before the relevant decree expires.
At the time, the decree was expected to expire at the end of 2018. However, in November 2018, the government extended it by a year, until the end of 2019.
Green energy produced by HPPs accounts for 32.5% of 2018 output
In 2018, EPS’ power plants generated around 34.36 billion kWh of electricity, an increase of 1% against 2017, the company said in a press release.
Thanks to exceptionally favorable hydrological conditions in the first half of the year and operational readiness, hydropower plants (HPPs) increased output by 16.5% compared to 2017.
Green energy produced by HPPs accounted for 32.5% of EPS’ overall electricity output in 2018, according to the press release.
In 2019, Serbia’s overall electricity output is planned to rise 4% year-on-year, to 40 billion kWh, said Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić.