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Voltalia wins auction in Albania for Spitalle solar power plant of 100 MW

Voltalia auction Albania Spitalle solar power 100 MW

Photo: Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy

Published

March 26, 2021

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Published:

March 26, 2021

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French company Voltalia was selected for the construction of a 100 MW photovoltaic system in the municipality of Durrës in the west of Albania, on the Adriatic coast. The investor bid EUR 29.89 per MWh for the Spitalle solar park.

Five companies and consortiums participated in the renewable energy auction for the Spitalle solar power plant and Voltalia had the best offer, the Albanian Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy said. The French firm, which already has a contract for the Karavasta photovoltaic system, won at the auction with a bid of EUR 29.89 per MWh excluding value-added tax for 70% of production.

The deal is for 15 years and the remaining output from the 100 MW Spitalle solar park will be sold on the market or through bilateral arrangements or corporate power purchase agreements – PPAs. The government set the ceiling at EUR 55 per MWh and the bidders gave their lowest possible offers in the process.

Chinese group’s bit was far higher

The consortium of China’s Universa Energy and HOGN Electrical Group was the other competitor the final phase, with EUR 46. The Spitalle site spans 121 hectares.

No one expected such a low bid, according to Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku

Minister Belinda Balluku praised the consultants from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development for helping organize the auction. She said no one expected such a low bid. In comparison, Voltalia won the 140 MW Karavasta deal with EUR 24.89 per MWh. Albania, which gets 99% of its power from renewable sources, has an imperative to diversify them, Balluku stressed.

Two domestic firms participated in process for awarding contract for Spitalle solar park

The Balkan country depends on hydropower plants, making power supply vulnerable to droughts amid climate change. Two domestic firms participated in the auction together with an Indian bidder, while the remaining two companies were from Germany.

Of note, Voltalia recently submitted the non-technical summary of its environmental impact assessment to the authorities for Karavasta, located next to the largest lagoon in Albania. It said preparatory works would last three months and that it can build the utility-scale solar power plant on 196 hectares at the lot of 220 hectares in another eight months.

Balluku said earlier that the government would hold a wind power auction and a wind and solar auction after the one for Spitalle.

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