Electricity

Serbia’s EPS gets EU grants for solar plant projects within coal complexes

EPS receives EU grant for preparation of Morava and Kolubara A solar plant projects

Photo: EPS

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December 13, 2022

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Published:

December 13, 2022

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EPS said it plans to build two solar power plants, with a capacity of 71 MW and 45 MW, at a coal storage site, a slag landfill and ash dumps within the complexes of thermal power plants Morava and Kolubara A. The European Union has approved a grant of EUR 860,000 per project for necessary documentation.

Serbia’s state-owned coal and power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije – EPS received two grants of EUR 860,000 each to develop projects for solar power plants to be built within the complexes of thermal power plants Morava and Kolubara A.

The funds are part of the EU’s EUR 49.02 million aid package for short- and medium term investments in energy through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). It includes grants for the reconstruction of the Vlasina hydropower cascade and the Kostolac wind farm project.

EPS said the aid for its two planned photovoltaic parks is for the preparation of project documentation.

Solar on ash and coal landfills

Within the Kolubara A TPP, a solar power plant can be built on a coal storage site and an ash landfill, the company pointed out. The intended capacity is about 71 MW, for an estimated annual production of 96 GWh. Total investment is estimated at EUR 80.14 million.

The capacity of the solar power plant at Kolubara A is envisaged at 71 MW

The Morava thermal power plant is near the town of Svilajnac in central Serbia. EPS said it expects the 45 MW facility to generate about 60 GWh per year. The solar park can be built on an ash and slag landfill, it added. The investment is estimated at EUR 50 million.

The 45 MW Morava solar power plant is supposed to generate 60 GWh per year

The condition to get a grant was that an international financial institution participating in the WBIF program has expressed interest in the project or signed a loan agreement. The group consists of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Germany’s KfW Development Bank, European Investment Bank, World Bank, French Development Agency, and the Council of Europe Development Bank.

EBRD is the leading potential creditor for the said solar power plant projects, according to EPS, which expects to complete them in 2027.

As previously announced, both the Morava and Kolubara A should be closed by the end of 2023. EPS earlier said it would install solar power units at the ash dumps there and that they would have just 9.9 MW each.

In May, the government-controlled utility suspended the construction of its first solar power plant due to a lack of funds. The 9.95 MW Petka facility is supposed to be installed at the tailings dump of the Ćirikovac surface coal mine in the Kostolac basin.

EU backs four projects of Elektroprivreda Srbije

EPS received official confirmation that the funds were approved under the 28th call for technical assistance and the 7th call for co-financing investment projects through WBIF. The company said it took more than six months to prepare the application.

Tomašević: This is a great success for EPS, as it is the first time that multiple grant projects have been approved for one applicant at the same time

“This is a great success for EPS, as it is the first time that multiple grant projects have been approved for one applicant at the same time. Also, the positive rating our projects receive is a confirmation that we are moving in the right direction, and European institutions are certain that the funds are properly allocated”, Acting Director of EPS Miroslav Tomašević said.

Grants for Vlasina HPP complex, Kostolac wind farm

The reconstruction of the Vlasina (or Vlasinske) hydropower plants is valued at EUR 77.5 million, of which EUR 16.1 million was secured from WBIF. The 128 MW complex is among the oldest in the country, and the project should extend its service life by another 30 years. The capacity is set to be increased to 136 MW, bringing annual output to an estimated 309 GWh.

Preparations are underway for the replacement of turbines and generators with turbine regulation and hydromechanical equipment and the adaptation of auxiliary systems. The financing should be completed next year, when the tender documentation will be issued, according to EPS.

The project for the construction of the Kostolac wind farm, with a capacity of 66 MW, now includes a EUR 31.2 million grant through WBIF, EPS confirmed. It estimated the unit’s annual output at 187 GWh.

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