Poland: First 1 MW PV plant online soon

22. August 2011 | Top News, Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By:  Marcin Czekanski

Construction work on Poland’s first megawatt photovoltaic power plant is drawing to a close.

Polish flag

Poland's first megawatt photovoltaic project is scheduled for completion in September. Image: Flickr/soylentgreen23.

Located in Wierzchoslawice county, southern Poland, the one megawatt (MW) project is expected to be finished by the end of September.

Polish companies Georyt and Elzag Protech, which are also supplying their own photovoltaic panels, are undertaking the construction work. Meanwhile, the project is owned by Energia Wierzchoslawice Ltd., which in turn is 99 percent owned by Wierzchoslawice county.

"It is the first professional installation in Poland, [a] truly pilot project," Marcin Wasa, president of Energia Wierzchoslawice told pv magazine.

Half of the PLN 10 million (around €2.4 million) needed to realize the Wierzchoslawice photovoltaic project came from a state grant, while the remaining funds came in the form of a preferential loan from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

"We hope to achieve return on the investment. Currently we are looking for buyers of electricity and green certificates," continued Wasa.

The Energia Wierzchoslawice’s president must, however, be optimistic about the investment as the company plans to add another 800 kilowatts to the installation. "We are currently looking for financing," he stated.   

No differentiation

Installed photovoltaic capacity in Poland currently stands at just 0.1 MW. In addition to less insolation than that of Southern Europe, potential investors are not encouraged by the country’s domestic solar support scheme.

The local law does not differentiate between photovoltaic installations and other renewable electricity sources, thus photovoltaics receives the same support as wind electricity.

Under the current support scheme, one green certificate, valued at PLN 280 (€67.50), is given for each MWh of renewable electricity generated. Additionally, photovoltaic power plant owners are entitled to sell their electricity at a guaranteed price, currently set PLN 197 €47.50. This means a total revenue of PLN 477 per MWh (€115 per MWh).

This figure pales in comparison to the Czech Republic, where in 2010 projects could earn €480 per MWh, or in Germany where it was possible to generate €390 per MWh under the 2010 tariff.

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