Renewables

Romanian grid ready for 3 GW in wind power connections by 2026

RWEA Romanian grid ready 3 GW wind power connections 2026

Photo: Alexander Droeger from Pixabay

Published

February 24, 2023

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Published:

February 24, 2023

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Electricity transmission system operator Transelectrica has connection contracts signed for wind farm projects with a combined capacity of 3 GW, according to the Romanian Wind Energy Association (RWEA).

More than 80% of the connection contracts for wind capacities in Romania have a high probability to become reality, given that investors must pay more than EUR 150,000 per MW in some cases before the projects are linked to the grid, Vice-president of RWEA Adrian Borotea said.

He added that TSO Transelectrica has connection contracts signed for wind farm projects of 3 GW in total for the period through 2026. It is different for technical approvals for connection, as only 10% to 20% end up being implemented, Borotea explained.

Only 10% to 20% of projects that received technical connection approvals get implemented

Developers currently have technical terms for connection from Transelectrica for another 3 GW through 2026, he asserted at the ZF Power Summit 2023, as quoted by Agerpres. Such approvals are valid for only 12 months, so anyone effectively blocking access to the transmission network will filter themselves out relatively soon, Borotea stressed.

He noted that connection costs per installed megawatt normally vary between EUR 10,000 and EUR 20,000.

As for the hurdles for wind power investments, he mentioned overtaxation and strict regulations in the balancing segment. Furthermore, if the partner in a power purchase agreement (PPA) is from abroad, there is a possibility of double taxation, according to Borotea. Of course, without a PPA, there would be big issues in the development of wind and solar projects for banks and investors, the RWEA official underscored. 

RWEA official urged policymakers to find a balance between agriculture and wind projects on arable land

Borotea highlighted the draft executive order that would limit the lots on agricultural land for wind and solar power endeavors to 50 hectares.

There are certain areas where the wind is strong, he said. “If by chance there is arable land there, surely a balance must be found between the approach from the point of view of agriculture and wind farms,” in Borotea’s view. RWEA currently has 52 members, compared to 32 at the beginning of last year, he revealed.

The Romanian Wind Energy Association has 52 members, compared to 32 at the beginning of last year

Borotea said at an earlier event that Romania must improve legislation little by little to attract investors, unlike last year, when there were seven major changes in the energy sector and renewables in particular.

The country is rushing to boost its renewable and nuclear energy capacities to meet tight deadlines for European funding. The government aims to achieve energy independence from Russia, mitigate the effects of the global energy crisis and decarbonize the economy. With sufficient progress, the country can even statistically transfer some of its renewable energy share to other European Union member states.

Developers have recognized the opportunity, so investment announcements keep piling up including agrisolar and battery storage. Just in the last half a year, news emerged of some of Europe’s biggest endeavors in the wind and solar sectors.

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