Albania approves first unsubsidized large-scale solar projects


Albanian Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku said last week that the government has approved two unsubsidized PV projects with capacities of 20 MW each.

The plants, which will be built in the Korça region, will help local energy consumers to reduce their energy bills through power purchase agreements (PPAs). Around 2% of the energy from the two facilities will be supplied to public entities for free, as a payment for the land lease the government is awarding to the two unspecified developers.

Balluku did not reveal any additional technical and financial details about the two projects.

“These new investments are in line with the priority given by the government of Albania by the end of 2021 of the solar sector,” Albanian energy lawyer Lorenc Gordani told pv magazine. “The latest data shows there are 1.2 GW in the pipeline in the solar power sector and, according to preliminary zoned studies, there is currently in total untapped technical potential for deploying solar projects up to 2,378 MW, available with a low capital cost.”

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The Albanian government has also decided that renewable energy plant operators will now have to pay for grid imbalances as conventional power producers. Such costs were previously covered by the nation's public utility, Korporata Elektroenergjitike Shqiptare Sh.a (KESH), and other state entities.

Albania currently subsidizes large-scale PV through a series of tenders. It also supports rooftop PV through a net-metering scheme. According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the country's cumulative installed PV capacity stood at just 22 MW at the end of 2021.

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