Croatian utility HEP issues call for utility-scale solar and other renewables

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Croatian state-owned utility Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP Group) has issued an expression of interest (EoI) to seek developers for the construction or sale of utility-scale solar and other renewable energy projects.

In the EoI document, the power company said it may develop projects with successful applicants or acquire facilities after they start operation.

The call, part of HEP’s plan to enlarge its clean energy generation portfolio, envisages the construction or acquisition of PV power plants exceeding 2 MW in capacity, as well as hydropower projects larger than 1 MW and wind projects with no size limit being specified.

For solar, HEP said priority will be given to projects with a valid building permit and which are located in areas with high solar irradiation and interested developers have until 31 December to submit proposals.

Croatia has had limited success with the development of solar energy. There are only two solar parks under development in the country, the 6.5 MW Orlec Trinket project which is being developed on the island of Cres to ensure sufficient electricity supply during the peak tourist season, and the 4.14 MW Orlec Trinket West Solar Power Plant, also on the island. The installations will be the first non-integrated solar plants in HEP’s portfolio.

The utility in December announced a plan to increase its quota of renewables from around 35% to 50% by 2030. That plan would require investments of approximately HRK1 billion ($154 million). HEP’s power generation capacity is 3.8 GW, with 2 GW of it from hydro.

Croatia implemented a FIT scheme for rooftop solar which expired in 2015 after bringing around 50 MW of capacity online.