The groundbreaking ceremony for the Karavasta Solar site in Albania will take place this morning in the presence of the Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Mrs. Belinda Balluku, and the French Ambassador to Tirana, Mrs. Elisabeth Barsacq.
Voltalia has won a 30-year concession for the Karavasta photovoltaic power plant in 2020. The 140-megawatt project was awarded to Voltalia by decision of the Albanian Council of Ministers on January 21, 2020, following the competitive bidding process launched by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – EBRD. According to the terms of the tender, Karavasta will sell 50% of the electricity through a 15-year sales contract to the Albanian public operator, while the remaining production will be sold through long-term contracts to private operators. The plant is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2023.
The plant will cover the annual electricity consumption of 220,000 inhabitants, twice the consumption of Albanian cities such as Vlora or Kamza. It will avoid the emission of more than 96,500 tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of 9.5% of the emissions from the industrial sector in Albania.
“We are particularly proud to support the Albanian energy transition. By its size, the Karavasta project is a major element of this policy aimed at increasing the country's energy independence through an economically competitive and environmentally efficient energy. I would like to thank all our teams in Albania and Europe who are supporting this project,” said Sébastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia.
Voltalia in Albania
Voltalia has been present in Albania since 2018 through turnkey construction contracts for third-party customers for three photovoltaic power plants (7.5 megawatts) located 10 kilometers from the future Karavasta plant.
In May 2021, Voltalia won a second solar project, called Spitalla, with a capacity of 100 megawatts in Albania, in the Dürres region on the Adriatic coast. Voltalia, as for Karavasta, will be the developer, builder and operator of the project.
For Spitalla, the public operator will receive 70% of the electricity over a period of 15 years. The rest of the energy will be sold under long-term contracts at a market price. Commissioning is scheduled for 2024.
Albania, which has growing energy needs and an already fully renewable energy mix, continues to diversify its renewable energies, focusing on solar and wind power. These projects are further illustrations of the competitiveness of renewable energy in the region.