Construction of Largest Croatian Solar Power Plant Underway

Construction of Largest Croatian Solar Power Plant Underway

As Novac writes on the 23rd of June, 2020, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, the Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli and the President of the Management Board of Hrvatska elektroprivreda, Frane Barbaric, laid the foundation stone for the construction of the largest Croatian solar power plant, located on the island of Cres, worth 41 million kuna.

It is the largest solar power plant under construction in Croatia, and it stretches over seventeen hectares. Located just two kilometres north of Orlec, with a capacity of 6.5 MW, this Croatian power plant will, as they say, contribute to the strengthening of the security of the electricity supply and increase the overall level of energy self-sufficiency of the islands of Cres and Losinj, especially during the tourist season when electricity consumption increases quite dramatically.

Despite the global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, HEP has continued without hesitation to implement its impressive investment plan for the year 2020, which was set at the highest amount in the company's entire history - almost five billion kuna.

''We're doing this because we're aware that the continuation of our investment cycle and investments in which the Croatian component is strongly represented, are extremely important for the development and stability of the Croatian economy. The largest part of the investment relates to the realisation of the renewable development scenario of HEP until the year 2030, within which we'll construct 1,500 MW of production capacity. Half of these capacities, which correspond in strength to the Krsko Nuclear Power Plant, will be in solar and wind power plants,'' Barbaric pointed out.

In the future, SE Cres will produce about 8.5 million kWh of electricity per year, which is enough to supply about 2,500 households. In thirteen segments of individual power of 500 kW, a total of 20,330 panels made by the Croatian company Solvis will be installed, and this new Croatian solar power plant should start operating fully by the end of this year.

''This commendable investment will contribute to the energy independence and development of the island of Cres. The synergy of investments in energy and transport are of crucial importance for keeping the population on our islands, but also for the stability of the Croatian economy in the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic,'' Butkovic emphasised.

HEP plans to install two more solar power plants on the beautiful island of Cres, SE Cres 2 of 4.14 MW and SE Ustrine near Osor, with a capacity of 9.99 MW. In addition to them, the company is considering the construction of another Croatian solar power plant on the island of Unije, as well as several power plants across the region of Istria and Kvarner, while in the Istrian city of Porec, they're starting with the second phase of the development of the Kastelir solar power plant.

''The development of such infrastructure, which follows the ecological dimension and acceptability, is extremely important for tourism because without quality infrastructure, it's impossible to develop the type of quality tourism that we want within the direction of sustainable development,'' said Cappelli.

All this is part of HEP's project by which the company wants to create a green energy transition, primarily on the islands located in Kvarner. Namely, this year alone, as much as 74 million kuna has been invested in the construction of solar power plants and electromobility in the general area.

In order for these power plants not to be the only form of improving the living standards of the inhabitants of Croatia's islands, HEP is also moving to further expand the network of ELEN electric charging stations. There are currently 19 ELEN filling stations in the Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties, and an additional 35 are being set up, including filling stations on the islands of Krk and Rab.

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