Public company Motorways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina plans to install solar panels along highways and produce electricity for self-consumption. It is a pioneering step for the region of Southeastern Europe. It follows a similar move by Slovenia’s road management firm in July.
The intention of the Motorways of the Federation of Bosnia fits into the expansion of the production of electricity for self-consumption in the region, but also into a trend that emerged recently, to install solar panels in places that have no other use. There is a growing number of agrisolar projects and investments in photovoltaics on dams, next to railroads, or in parking lots all over the region and Europe.
The Motorways of FBiH have issued a public call for a study on the potential for the construction of photovoltaic power plants on the Vc corridor. The document should include a proposal of PV technologies, an estimate of required investments, and a profitability analysis.
FBiH’s firm needs solutions for PV systems on the existing and future sections of the Vc corridor
Corridor Vc connects Hungary, Croatia, and BiH. It runs from Budapest via Osijek and Sarajevo to the Ploče port on the Adriatic coast. The longest part is on the territory of BiH – 340 kilometers, of which 285 kilometers stretch across the Federation of BiH. It is one of the two entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina while the other one is called the Republic of Srpska. Only 121.4 kilometers of highway have been built so far.
According to the Motorways of FBiH, the main driver of the project is the fact that electricity prices have an upward trend, while solar is one of the cheapest energy sources.
The company’s annual electricity bill is BAM 1.5 million
Having in mind installation of PV systems requires large areas, while it gives the best results if it is done close to the consumption site, the study should examine technologies and propose a solutions for PV power plants on existing and future sections of the Vc corridor, the company said.
According to data from 2019, electricity consumption on the Vc corridor was about 8,500 MWh with an annual bill of about BAM 1.5 million (EUR 766,000).
Solar could turn roads into huge energy generators
The firm pointed out that the use of solar panels could transform roads into huge energy generators. Several projects in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have already demonstrated that PV systems could be used to generate electricity for rest areas, roads, and tunnels.
Photovoltaics on sound barriers, landfills of excavated material from road construction, and land under ownership that is not intended for the construction of a highway have huge potential
According to the firm, photovoltaics on sound barriers, landfills of excavated material from road construction, and land that is not intended for the construction of a highway have huge potential for electricity production.
The study should also examine the case for the installation of chargers for electric vehicles and the establishment of an energy cooperative on the Vc corridor, the firm said.
The deadline for submitting offers is November 20, and the estimated value of the procurement is BAM 146,260 KM (EUR 75,000).