Albania to launch auction for over 50 MW of solar

Albania’s Minister of Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri and EBRD head in Albania Mattteo Colangeli have signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of large-scale PV projects across the Balkan country.

Under the terms of the agreement, EBRD will assist the Albanian government in the definition of an auction mechanism for the selection of the projects, in accordance with international best practices.

“The Memorandum is about the EBRD assistance to the Ministry of Energy to prepare auctions for projects on PV production plants as well as possible EBRD funding for any investment selected through a transparent and competitive process. The objective is to provide funding for projects on solar and wind power generation,” Gjiknuri said at the signing ceremony. The minister, however, has not said when the first auction could be launched.

According to the Albania government, the EBRD has invested €1 billion in 77 projects in Albania to date.

Over the past few months, the Albanian Ministry of Energy and Industry has received several proposals for utility-scale PV projects, the latter of which was submitted in mid-April. The application was filed by local companies Albanian General Electricity SH.A. and A.E. Distribution. The project, which is planned to be located in Fier, in the homonym province, and built at a cost of €2 million ($2.1 million), will likely compete in the upcoming auction, as well as two more projects submitted last year.

In November 2016, a consortium formed by local companies Solar Gamma Sh.p.k., Alfa Energy Sh.p.k., Beta Energy Sh.p.k., Delta Solar Sh.p.k. and Solaris Sh.p.k. has proposed to build a 50 MW PV plant in Malik, a municipality in Korçë County of eastern Albania.

Furthermore, the special purpose vehicle Novoselë Photovoltaic PowerPlant Sh.P.K. proposed to build a 50 MW PV power plant in Novoselë, a village in the Vlorë County, in August 2016. The project’s required investment was valued at €72 million ($76.6 million).

The Albanian government introduced this year a new renewable energy law, named Law on Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources, which replaced the FIT scheme for renewable energy projects exceeding 15 MW with the auction mechanism that the Albanian government is now implementing.

Albania’s total installed capacity at the end of 2015 totaled 1,895 MW, out of which 98 MW was from thermoelectric generation and the rest, around 95% of installed power, was from hydropower sources.