Solar power plant inaugurated at Zlatoličje hydropower plant in Slovenia

Solar power inaugurated Zlatolicje hydropower Slovenia

Photo: HTZ Velenje


September 29, 2022



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September 29, 2022



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The first part of the 30 MW Zlatoličje-Formin solar power plant in Slovenia has entered regular operation. Dravske elektrarne Maribor installed the 2.5 MW unit on the bank of a canal downstream from its Zlatoličje hydropower plant. The state-owned company also said it made progress in its Ojstrica wind power project.

Dravske elektrarne Maribor – DEM marked its 70th anniversary and inaugurated segment 5 of its Zlatoličje solar power plant. The first unit of the planned 30 MW project is on the left bank of the Drava river canal, just downstream from its 136 MW Zlatoličje hydropower plant, the biggest one in Slovenia. The new facility is 905 meters long.

DEM already had photovoltaic systems of 777 kW in total on the roofs of Zlatoličje’s engine room and garage and next to the inlet side of the canal. Segment 5 of 2.5 MW, completed in early May, has an estimated annual output of 3 GWh. HTZ Velenje was the contractor.

The Zlatoličje-Formin solar power project is envisaged to be built on the inlet and outlet canals of hydropower plants Zlatoličje and Formin. It would be the biggest in Slovenia by far.

DEM to join government’s solar power initiative

DEM, a subsidiary of state-owned coal and power producer Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE), revealed it is negotiating with several local authorities in Slovenia. The idea is to use degraded land areas for the construction of photovoltaic systems, in line with the government’s plan.

Kumer: Precipitation in Slovenia is decreasing, which is limiting production at hydropower plants

Of note, Hidroelektrarne na spodnji Savi (HESS), controlled by HSE and GEN – also a government-controlled entity, intends to build a 6 MW solar power plant in the vicinity of its Brežice hydropower plant.

Minister of Infrastructure Bojan Kumer said the addition of the solar power plant at Zlatoličje is especially important as precipitation is decreasing, which is limiting production at hydropower plants.

Geothermal, wind, energy storage projects underway

DEM has eight large hydroelectric plants on the Drava, five small hydropower units and five solar plants, with a combined 600 MW. The utility said it produces almost a quarter of electricity in Slovenia and that it aims to boost its capacity to 750 MW by 2026.

Its strategic projects include wind parks Ojstrica, Rogatec and Paški Kozjak. DEM said it made progress with the first of the three, as it has just received the government’s opinion on the relevance of an environmental impact report for the purpose of the spatial plan.

The utility wants to build a battery storage system on a river island

The company added that it would renovate the dam at small hydroelectric plant Markovci and reconstruct Formin. Recently it filed for a building permit for a battery storage system on a river island in Maribor. DEM also highlighted the revival of the project for pumped storage hydropower plant Kozjak.

The subsidiary of HSE is participating in a geothermal energy pilot project. Dravske elektrarne Maribor said the sediment it is removing from the Drava is being turned into construction bricks.

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