Former Polish coal mine transforms into 200 MW solar PV plant


EDP Renewables, the clean energy arm of Portugal's power utility EDP, has completed construction on a 200 MW solar farm in Poland.

Duerte Bello, CEO of Europe and Latin America operations at EDP Renewables, told pv magazine the PV facility in the center-west of Poland is a project that stands as an example of energy transition.

“What is particularly interesting is that Przykona has been built on fields that were once part of an open-pit lignite mine,” he said. “We believe that renewable energy projects can be an excellent recipe for the just transformation of post-industrial and post-mining areas. They confirm that there can be an energetic second life in traditionally coal-based regions, many of which are in both Poland and Germany.”

The large-scale PV plant is 270 ha in size and incorporates 308,000 p-type bifacial solar panels. Bello said the plant’s location was at a “tremendous advantage” for renewable energy generation as it received high solar irradiation during the day and consistent winds. This guaranteed an elevated degree of utilization of the installed capacity, Bello explained.

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“Thanks to this solar installation and other clean energy projects nearby Przykona, the region has become the country’s leading center for renewable energy production,” he said. “With this installation, the company has a cumulative solar power capacity of more than 280 MW in the country, accounting for more than 90% of its total solar capacity in Europe.”

Construction on the Przykona project started in September 2022, with the first energy generation occurring in June 2023. The project was financed through corporate financing, Bello said, adding: “We do not disclose the investment made.”

When asked about the possibility of a power purchase agreement, Bello said Przykona landed a 15-year Contract-for-Difference (CfD) in 2020 as part of a suite of contracts granted in a Poland government renewable energy auction. “However, an option exists to opt out of the contract if a more profitable PPA is signed,” Bello said, adding, “EDPR has been exploring this option.”

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