The EU gave a green light to Romania to use its share of the Modernisation Fund for the makeover of coal plant owner CE Oltenia with EUR 469 million for solar power plants and EUR 421 million for gas plants, together with EUR 583 million for the power grid.
The European Commission has approved the energy projects submitted by Romania for financing through the Modernisation Fund, Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu said. There is EUR 889.7 million in the package for photovoltaic parks and gas power plants for ailing state-owned coal and power producer Complexul Energetic (CE) Oltenia. The remaining EUR 582.5 million is for investments in transmission lines run by Transelectrica, grid digitalization and the distribution network.
With its EUR 1.44 billion, Romania got the largest piece of the fund so far among the ten countries using the mechanism, according to Popescu. It is split to EUR 971 million in priority investments and EUR 470.1 million in nonpriority investments. The sum differs from the above tally, presumably due to rounding.
CE Oltenia replacing coal plants with solar power, gas
There is EUR 469.2 million in the transaction for CE Oltenia’s eight solar power projects on tailings dumps at its coal pits and the locations covered in ash and slag from its coal-fired power plants. The biggest item is EUR 80.7 million for the Tismana 2 – Roșia – Rovinari mine, Economica.net reported.
Romania got the green light for EUR 167.5 million for the construction of a 475 MW gas-fired combined cycle power plant in the Turceni coal complex and EUR 253 million for a facility of the same kind 850 MW in Ișalnița.
Power distribution system gets EUR 100 million
There is EUR 100 million earmarked for the digitalization of the power transmission network and the same amount was approved for the modernization and expansion of the power distribution system.
Transelectrica, Romania’s transmission system operator, is also getting EUR 372.1 million for new 400 kV power lines, reconstruction of existing ones and transformer units and other projects.
Romania is also using European Union funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP or PNRR in Romanian) for its energy transition and decarbonization.