State power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije has announced that the construction of its first wind farm, Kostolac, has began, and that it has held an introductory meeting with representatives of Siemens Gamesa, which will deliver and install 73 megawatts (MW) of wind turbines for the project.
Miroslav Tomašević, acting director of EPS, expects that the wind farm in the Kostolac coal basin will be put into operation in 26 months at the latest.
EPS and its partners will do everything to shorten this period as much as possible, but without endangering the quality of works, and to have EPS’ wind farm in operation as soon as possible, Tomašević said.
The wind farm is being built on depleted coal mines in the Kostolac basin
The value of the project is estimated at EUR 114 million, of which EUR 80 million will come from a loan disbursed by the German KfW bank. EPS signed the loan agreement in November 2017, and received an energy permit for the wind farm at the end of 2018.
EPS’ first wind power plant, with 20 generators, will be installed at Drmno, Petka, Ćirikovac and Klenovnik, in the area of closed open-pit mines and dump sites of EPS’ subsidiary Termoelektrane i kopovi Kostolac (TE-KO Kostolac).
Of note, at the locations of TE-KO Kostolac EPS plans to build solar power plants, called Srednje Kostolačko Ostrvo and Petka. However, the second project was halted a week ago due to lack of funding. The construction of solar power plants and wind farms on depleted coal mines and ash dump sites is a widespread practice in the world, with North Macedonia as the regional leader in such projects.
Čerkez: Siemens Gamesa RE takes the deadlines seriously
Stjepan Čerkez, President of the Management Board of Siemens Gamesa RE, thanked EPS for the trust and the opportunity to realize the project.
Siemens Gamesa Re is taking this endeavor very seriously and has included experts with experience on projects with similar complexity, said Čerkez. He added that the company has taken the issue of deadlines seriously.
Enough electricity to supply some 30,000 households
According to earlier estimates, the wind farm in Kostolac will produce about 115 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year, which is enough to supply some 30,000 households.
Expert supervision of the project was entrusted to a consortium led by New Energy Solutions. The introductory meeting was also attended by representatives of SGS, a firm in charge of quality control, as well as a large number of experts involved in the project.
Of note, Serbia currently has 397 MW in wind farms Čibuk 1, Kovačica, Košava 1, Alibunar, Kula, Malibunar and La Piccolina, which were built in the first wave, within a 500 MW quota allocated by the Ministry of Mining and Energy.
The quota also includes the Plandište wind farm, with a capacity of 102 MW, which is under construction.