Photon Energy plans to deploy 50 MW of PV capacity in Hungary

Dutch solar developer Photon Energy announced plans to install PV plants with a combined capacity of 50 MW in Hungary. The company also said it intends to provide O&M and EPC services for external customers in the country in the long-term.

In order to expand into this new market, Photon Energy has set up the new unit Photon Energy HU SPV. The new subsidiary will initially build several PV plants totaling 6 MW close to Budapest.

“We have been evaluating the market very carefully and are now confident enough to announce that we have decided to both enter into the proprietary development of projects and to seek cooperation with local project developers to bring PV projects to the bankable ready-to-build stage”, said Photon Energy CEO Georg Hotar.

The company added that it expects to develop 50 MW of new PV projects both for its portfolio and third-party investors in the next couple of years.

Hungary’s solar market could see its largest growth ever in 2017. Although the country’s FIT scheme was closed in mid-2016, 2 GW of projects approved under the program could still potentially be installed over the next two years. Under the current regulation, approved projects will be granted a FIT if grid-connection is achieved by the end of 2017. The Government may also introduce a 1-year grace period for these projects and extend the deadline to the end of 2018. FITs are granted by utility Mavir for a 12-15 year period and have an average rate of HUF 31 ($0.10) per kWh.

According to estimates by László Szabo, a senior researcher at the Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK, Hungary), however, this FIT level is not high enough and will not be sufficient to enable construction of all the projects approved under the scheme. Szabo also claims that in Hungary there are not enough qualified installers available within a short period of time to complete all approved projects.

By Carl Johannes Muth