Croatian state-owned utility Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP Group) has unveiled a plan to expand its solar power generation portfolio.
The company said the plan will initially see the construction of four PV plants with a combined capacity of 11.6 MW on the islands of Cres and Vis and in Kaštelir and Vrlika Jug at a cost of around HRK80 million ($12.1 million). HEP said HRK150 million will be invested annually in solar projects until 2023, which should result in a total investment of around HRK750 million and annual capacity additions of around 20 MW.
“By 2030 we are planning to realize the projects of solar power plants with [a] total power capacity of 350 MW,” said Frane Barbarić, president of the HEP management board.
The construction contract for the project in Kaštelir, in the Istria region, has been awarded to a consortium formed by PVI Solar, PVI GmbH, Intecco and Deling, the utility said, adding the solar plant in Vis, an island in the Adriatic, will be built in the second half of the year.
All four power plants are intended to operate without a power purchase agreement, said HEP.
“Solar power plants on the islands of Cres and Vis will contribute to the strengthening of infrastructure for the purpose of tourism development, since the electricity generation will be the highest when needed most i.e. in the periods of increased consumption during the tourist season,” the utility added.
Plans for 2.1 MW of rooftop PV projects on HEP buildings were also announced, with a projected cost of around HRK13 million.
HEP issued an expression of interest to seek developers for the construction or sale of utility scale solar and other renewable energy projects in late February.
In December, the power company unveiled a plan to increase its quota of renewables from around 35% to 50% by 2030. HEP’s power generation capacity is currently 3.8 GW, with some 2 GW of it coming from hydropower facilities.