Friday, 1 October 2021

Solar Energy Conference: Procedures Need to Be Stepped Up

ZAGREB, 1 Oct 2021 - The solar sector is developing very slowly in Croatia even though the price of solar energy has never been lower, hence it is necessary to encourage greater efficiency by the competent institutions and to educate citizens, a two-day solar energy conference on the island of Hvar heard on Friday.

"The price of electricity from solar power plants today is lower than ever but Croatia's solar sector is developing very slowly and the relevant procedures need to be stepped up and people need to be educated," Professor Neven Duić of the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture said at the conference.

The conference, entitled "Days of the Sun", brought together key stakeholders in Croatia's energy transition - members of the academic community, equipment producers, representatives of the banking system, investors, regional and local government officials as well as representatives of state institutions and ministries.

Apart from discussing various financial models for the solar sector and its launching, the conference will discuss the new legislative framework for the green transition, the future of photovoltaic power plants and solar technology in Croatia, innovations and application of solar energy in the business sector, the use of renewable energy sources in agriculture, and the implementation of the EU Green Deal at the national level.

"Local government has an opportunity to be more active in the coming period to inform citizens and promote the use of renewable sources, develop strategies and plans and actively participate in investments... these projects bring concrete benefits that can have a positive effect on the communities they govern," said Maja Jurišić of the Island Movement association, one of the organisers of the conference.

She underscored that renewable energy sources should be treated as a public good.

The director of SolarPower Europe, Walburga Hemetsberger, underscored that the solar energy sector was expected to grow significantly over the next five years, primarily due to the acceptable costs of such projects.

SolarPower Europe is a leading European organisation of stakeholders in the use of solar energy and it comprises research centres, banks, investors, entrepreneurs and others in the solar energy sector.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Croatian Company Podravka Building 12 Million Kuna Solar Power Plant

June the 3rd, 2021 - The Croatian company Podravka is busy with plans to construct a solar power plant on three of its factories, investing a massive 12 million kuna in this environmentally conscious project.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, with the new project for the construction of a solar power plant with a capacity of 2.4 MW, with a total value of 11.7 million kuna, the Croatian company Podravka is joining the increasingly rapid global trend of using renewable energy sources, and all with the intention of intensifying this type of project in the future as well.

This praiseworthy move indicates this much loved company's intention to put the roofs of the remaining factories; Belupo and their logistics capacities, into the function of business savings in the foreseeable future. As a socially responsible company, Podravka clearly plans to further contribute to the wider community by kickstarting a number of projects with environmental benefits.

These premises are already considering the necessary financial estimates for the next two phases in which this truly ambitious goal would be reached - 9.9 MW of RES power.

In the first phase, the RES will produce electricity for its own consumption for all three of the Croatian company Podravka's factories in the Danica Industrial Zone in Koprivnica: the Baby Food and Cream Spreads factory, the Soup and Vegeta Factory, and the Danica factory - which is primarily a sausage factory.

The expected return on this investment is currently three and a half years, while the construction of the "Podravka - Danica" solar power plant, with a power of photovoltaic modules of 3,059.76 kWp, otherwise one of the largest in the Republic of Croatia, will cost 10.3 million kuna. A handsome 5.1 million kuna has been approved for this part of the project, with co-financing from both the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Croatia from the Rural Development Programme.

The Ministry of Agriculture also awarded a non-refundable amount based on the Croatian company Podravka's application for the tender for the implementation of Submeasure 4.2. Support for investments in processing, marketing and/or the development of agricultural products.

The remaining amount of the project, standing at a not so small 1.4 million kuna, refers to the construction of a substation through which the solar power plant will be connected to HEP's electricity network, and that is and will remain fully financed by Podravka alone.

The expected annual production of this power plant is 3.2 MWh, and, as the Croatian company Podravka reports, its commissioning will lead to significant savings in the cost of electricity from conventional sources for the needs of the enterprise's busy factories, but also to a positive impact on the environment by reducing harmful excess CO2 emissions.

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Monday, 18 January 2021

Google Data Centre California Covered by 120,000 Varazdin Solar Panels

January 16, 2021 – Just as the white stone of Croatia was once exported globally to help build some of our most iconic buildings, Varazdin solar panels will be used atop the domes of one of the contemporary world's biggest businesses - the Google Data Centre in California

From the statues of Ivan Meštrović to the white stone of Dalmatian mines (like the famous one that still works on the island of Brac), Croatia has a long history of exports within the fields of aesthetics and architecture. A whole new eco-friendly tag is now being added to that reputation as one Croatian company prepares to send 120,000 Varazdin solar panels to cover Google's Data Centre in California. The purchase is part of the company's drive towards relying on carbon-free energy solutions.

The 120,000 Varazdin solar panels will be provided by Croatian company Solvis, who have held a contract with the California-based global search engine for quite some time. The 120,000 Varazdin solar panels will cover newly constructed domes at their Data Collection Centre in California, just a short distance from the company's global headquarters in Silicon Valley.

The contract for the 120,000 Varazdin solar panels and continuing co-operation with Solvis is, according to a recent article in Croatia's Jutarnji List, worth in excess of 10 million Euros.

Search engine Google is currently the most popular of its kind. Although it is based in California in the United States of America, where the 120,000 solar panels from Varazdin will be situated, it has properties all over the world. The purchase of the 120,000 solar panels from Varazdin is part of a drive for Google to equip all its buildings in the world with solar panels. Therefore, if the business between Google and the Varazdin company is successful, it could lead to more orders and an extended collaboration with the northern Croatia company.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Vis Solar Power Plant First of Many in Region, Split-Dalmatia County Leads Croatia in Renewable Sources

September 20, 2020 - The Vis Solar Power Plant is not only the first on a Croatian island, but it is currently the largest solar power plant in Croatia. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that back in 2010, the idea of ​​building a solar power plant on the southern hills of Vis seemed like an impossible mission. Ten years later, it has become a reality that has brought sustainable energy to Vis, the most remote central Dalmatian island.

The new surplus power plant of 3.5 MW, with an annual planned production of about five million kWh of electricity, is the largest solar power plant in Croatia - and it is first on a Croatian island. For every inhabitant of the island, especially those tied to the mainland for services, this investment is more than a relief.

Apart from Vis, the inhabitants of Hvar, but also Zagora, from the peripheral ring of the three 'V's' of Split-Dalmatia County, will also be as lucky. This group also includes Vrlika and the Vrgorac area, which led the announced energy investments with specific energy plans. With them are the planned projects in Sestanovac, Lecevica, and those from the area of Zadvarje, Kastela, Imotski, and in the future, other central Dalmatian islands, too.

As a reminder, since the end of last week, Vis has been receiving electricity for 1,600 households from a modern power plant, which will show its importance, especially during periods of the tourist season, when there are standard periods of higher consumption. With its electricity and drinking water sources, this island becomes energetically self-sustainable. Paraphrased, it is a small step for humanity, but extremely big for both the people of Vis and Croatia.

"The solar power plant on Vis, an investment worth one million kuna, built on a land area of ​​5.5 hectares, is the first of seven HEP ​​solar power plants put into operation in the planned period from 2019 to 2023. This is a cycle worth 750 million kuna. With this power plant, Vis has gained greater security of electricity supply," stated Frane Barbaric, President of the Management Board of Hrvatska elektroprivreda.

Vis experienced a historic moment with the investment in Krizeva glavica, not far from the settlement Zena Glava. He laid the concrete foundations of what will happen in Croatia in the next 10 years. Namely, in 2017, the Government of the Republic of Croatia strongly embarked on the implementation of the new energy policy of Croatia and the European Union, focused on green energy investments.

But the basic question is, why Vis? 

According to one of the projections made and presented by the Hrvoje Pozar Energy Institute less than four years ago, Dalmatia, the coast, and the islands have the greatest solar potential. Among them, the Southern Dalmatian islands stand out. Nevertheless, statistics show that compared to other EU countries, Croatia still does not make sufficient use of this natural potential. But it is encouraging that the EU solar market has grown by 36 percent over the past year. The projections made by the United Nations Development Program show a plan to increase the use of solar energy in Croatia until 2030, said Dr. Luksa Lulic, member of the Supervisory Board of HEP.

Announcements about the planned construction of new solar and wind power plants are quite optimistic, and it is interesting that Split-Dalmatia County will play an extremely important role in this direction. Moreover, precisely because of the abundance of sunshine and beautiful locations, this county is a natural Croatian reservoir for the construction of new renewable energy sources. This is confirmed by the prefect of Split-Dalmatia, Blazenko Boban, who stated that this area will become the flagship of what the EU expects from us.

"Solar power plants are extremely desirable in our area because in the frequent consumption of electricity, so when it is necessary to import energy, we have our own potential. This is especially pronounced at a time of higher influx of tourists in the season, which gives us self-sustainability. Thanks to the Sun Power Plant on Vis and other solar power plant projects under construction, such as SE Vrlika and projects in development such as the Bogomolje power plant on Hvar and others, Split-Dalmatia County will remain a leader in renewable sources in the country. Vis is the leader of this process, it is this most remote island of our county that now has energy self-sufficiency," says Boban.

The projection of the energy future of Split-Dalmatia County is based on the existing spatial plan, in which we are implanting 28 wind farm fields. Nine of them have already been built. There are also 25 solar fields led by Vis. At the other end of our county, says prefect Boban, a power plant of 6.8 megawatts, worth 45 million kuna, is planned in Vrlika, and there is also the Vrgorac area as the third peak of the 'V' triangle.

"These three 'V' plants are located on the outskirts of our county, and within it, construction is still planned at several other positions. We know that it will be on the Sestanovac plateau, for which projects have not been worked out in detail yet. That is why it is still difficult to talk about strength. There is also Bogomolje on Hvar, and Lecevica is also planned. SE Vrlika is moving quickly with the realization, the project is finished, the start of construction is planned by the New Year. We will soon know all the characteristics of the plant from the planned sunny fields of Hvar and from the Vrgorac area. Among the seven planned HEP power plants from the announced five-year cycle, the Hvar SE Bogomolje also found a place. In the medium term, among our acquisitions, among the larger SEs are those from the Vrgorac plateau, Sestanovac, Lecevica, and those from the area of ​​Zadvarje, Kastela and Imotski," says Boban.

His words are supported by the announcements from HEP, from which the leaders openly sent an invitation for cooperation with other islands in the Dalmatian area during their stay on Vis. From the slope of the Vis hill covered with 11,200 photovoltaic modules, they invited Dalmatian leaders to a new open public call, to plan preparations and cooperation in the construction of new solar power plants.

HEP leaders set out in this direction, announcing talks with the leadership of four Hvar municipalities the day after the release of SE Vis. The power plant in Bogomolje, which is about to obtain a location permit, could be joined in the future by 'sister' acquisitions, for example in Jelsa, and at two other locations. Along the way, a lot more will need to be defined on this issue.

HEP's five-year investment cycle for the construction of solar power plants, worth HRK 750 million, combines the construction of the solar power plant Marici near Zminj, Istrian Kastelir 2, and SE Cres as the largest solar power plant under construction in Croatia with 6.5 MW and an investment of HRK 41 million. There is also SE Obrovac, SE Vrlika jug, and SE Stankovci. By the end of 2020, WPP Korlat, the first wind farm in HEP's production portfolio, will also be put into commercial operation.

As far as Vis is concerned, HEP annually invests an average of one million kuna in the improvement of the island's electricity infrastructure. In the next three years, this amount will be almost 30 million kuna through a number of projects. Among them, laying submarine cables at Hvar-Pakleni-Vis and Vis-Bisevo stands out, as well as laying 20-kilovolt cable lines in Ravno Stupisce and Smokova. Also, work has begun on the installation of the first ELEN charging station for electric cars on the island, in the town of Vis, followed by the installation of a charging station in Komiza, said HEP, which will build a new 1500 MW of production capacity by 2030.

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Friday, 11 September 2020

HEP Puts into Operation Largest Solar Power Plant in Croatia

ZAGREB, Sept 11, 2020 - The HEP power company, on the southern island of Vis on Friday, put into operation the largest solar power plant in Croatia, worth HRK 31 million, 3.5 MW in power and expected to produce five million kWh of electricity a year, enough for 1,600 households.

With this first large solar power plant on a Croatian island, Vis has its own source of renewable energy and greater security of electricity supply, notably during summer when consumption is higher, it was said at the inauguration.

SE Vis is the first of seven solar power plants HEP will put into operation this year as part of an HRK 750 million cycle of building such plants from 2019 to 2023.

HEP CEO France Barbaric said the company expected to realize over HRK 4 billion in investment projects this year, a record amount, "notably projects with a large domestic component with which we are strongly contributing to the development and stability of the Croatian economy. Our focus is on projects which will improve the quality of life on the islands."

The inauguration of the largest solar power plant in Croatia is the beginning of what will happen in the next ten years, said Ivo Milatic, state secretary at the Economy Ministry.

He recalled that in 2017 the government had embarked on a new energy policy focusing on investment in green energy. "This power plant is the best example of such investment and, on behalf of the government, I congratulate HEP and Koncar on the realization of this valuable investment for Croatia's energy and economy."

Koncar is the company that built SE Vis.

HEP said a 1 MW, 1.44 MWh battery would be installed by SE Vis, the first of this size in Croatia, to balance the power supply system and keep the grid on Vis island stable.

HEP is investing about HRK 1 million in the improvement of the island's power infrastructure and next year it will invest almost HRK 30 million in numerous projects.

"SE Vis, together with the other solar power plant projects under construction, such as SE Vrlika, and those under development, such as the Bogomolje plant on Hvar island and others, will keep Split-Dalmatia County the leader in renewables in Croatia," said county head Blazenko Boban.

HEP announced that it would build additional 1,500 MW production capacities by 2030, nearly half of which would be wind parks and solar power plants, which matches the power of the Krsko Nuclear Plant.

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Monday, 7 September 2020

PPK Karlovac: Meat Industry Constructs Own Solar Power Plant

As Novac writes on the 5th of September, 2020, at PPK Karlovac, one of the leading Croatian food companies, a solar power plant covering an area of ​​7,500 square metres and an output of 1.2 MW was put into operation. A total of 3,939 photovoltaic modules, each with a power of 305 W, produce electricity for their own consumption, which PPK Karlovac has implemented in its production processes.

The annual production of the solar power plant is expected to be 1.2 GWh, while the consumption of electricity from conventional sources stands at 10.7 GWh annually. PPK Karlovac's investment is worth 7.2 million kuna, and the energy savings will amount to 10.89 percent, or 830 thousand kuna per year, while the payback period is estimated at 5.2 years. The project also aims to contribute to the preservation of the environment, which will be reflected in the reduction of CO2 emissions by 274 tonnes per year.

''We include high environmental standards and principles of sustainable development in the basic determinants of our business. In addition to the progress in the application of environmental protection standards, the financial effects of the project are of course important, and we're very pleased that during the trial period we even managed to exceed the expected results, achieving production of 720 MWh of electricity. We're especially pleased that this project is entirely a Croatian domestic product. The designer and contractor of our solar power plant was the Croatian company Enerco Solar, and all of the construction equipment, including the panels of the Croatian manufacturer SOLVIS, come from domestic production,'' said Igor Miljak, President of the PPK Karlovac meat industry.

The total value of PPK Karlovac's investment stands at 7.2 million kuna, with 50 percent of it having been co-financed by grants from the Ministry of Agriculture.

''The independent creation of resources for production while reducing the negative effects on the environment are the direction in which the European Union sees and plans the means and goals in the coming period. Investments in renewable energy sources are a step towards sustainable development, which means saving money, resources and caring for the environment, it also means increasing efficiency, rationalising costs and a positive impact on the state of resources. The use of renewable energy sources will continue to be an important intervention in the future National Strategic Plan and will enable successful producers and processors to reduce operating costs. Large companies and leaders in individual industries must be the drivers of development and take responsibility and an initiative in promoting green goals and domestic solutions. PPK Karlovac is among them and I'd like to congratulate them on making this step forward,'' said the Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic.

This solar power plant was realised in cooperation with the company HEP ESCO, a member of the HEP Group, as the first project from the HEP EE solar plus Programme, which refers to investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources for industrial facilities.

''Croatia's energy picture is changing rapidly. Energy production at the point of consumption has multiple benefits both for the user of that energy and for the environment and for Croatia as a whole. The idea is that integrated solar power plants produce the optimal amount of energy for the needs of the facility and thus reduce energy costs in the long run. HEP, like all large energy companies, has recognised the trends and needs of the market and in its offer, and in addition to the supply of energy, it is including more and more complex and modern energy services. Among them is the construction of solar power plants on a ''turnkey'' basis, which is realised according to the ESCO model. Starting from the role of the carrier of Croatia's energy transition to a low-carbon society, HEP wants to establish a strong partnership with the industrial sector on projects such as PPK Karlovac's solar power plant,'' said HEP ESCO CEO Zeljko Jelacic.

PPK Karlovac meat industry is part of the larger Pivac Group, which continuously invests in projects aimed at preserving the environment and reducing the negative impact on it. After the completion of the investment in Karlovac, the company plans to build a solar power plant with a capacity of 2 MW in the new Braca Pivac facility, which is currently being built in the Ravca Economic Zone close to Vrgorac. Other investments in the form of solar power plants are also planned in Cakovec and Karlovac.

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Friday, 31 July 2020

HEP to Construct More Solar Power Plants in Croatia Throughout 2020

As Poslovni Dnevnik/PD VL native tim writes on the 31st of July, 2020, by building such power plants, HEP can ensure that in sunny areas, the energy drawn from them can supply a large number of consumers. This is especially important, for example, on Croatia's many islands, where solar power plants can become an extremely important factor.

Given that they are efficient and don't have harmful products in the production of electricity, they have an important position in the European Green Plan, which primarily implies a significant reduction in harmful amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The goal of the Green Plan adopted by the European Commission is to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This poses great challenges, but also opportunities for all member states of the European Union.

Exactly how is Croatia currently positioned in all of this?

Croatia is in sixth place, ie at the very top of the list of EU countries, according to the share of renewable energy sources in gross final energy consumption. According to Eurostat's data, for 2018, the share of RES in total gross electricity consumption in Croatia was 48 percent. In order for Croatia to meet its goal set in the Energy Development Strategy until 2030, with a view to 2050, it is necessary to build more than 1000 MW of solar power plants in the next ten years.

HEP plans to increase production from renewable energy sources by 50 percent by 2030. This goal is planned to be achieved by revitalisation, ie increasing the power and production of existing hydropower plants, the construction of new hydropower plants and significant investments in wind farms, solar power plants and other renewable sources. HEP has its Kaštelir solar power plant in operation in Istria, and this year alone, seven more will be built, and in cooperation with cities and municipalities, there will be as many as eleven new solar power plants across Croatia.

The solar power plant on the island of Vis, with a connection power of 3.5 MW, located on the Griževa glavica hill just southwest of the town of Vis, is already in trial operation. The expected annual production is about 5 million kWh of electricity, which can meet the needs of about 1,600 households. Thanks to the construction of this facility, the island of Vis received its own source of renewable energy and greater security of its own electricity supply. HEP is implementing this project in cooperation with the well known Croatian company, Končar, whose products are installed in the power plant. The value of the investment stands at 31.3 million. kuna In the next phase, a 1MW battery tank with a capacity of 1.44 MWh will be installed next to the power plant, which will be used to provide electricity balancing services and to preserve the stability of the network on the island.

In the area of ​​the municipality of Žminj in Istria, the Marići plant, worth 9 million kuna, is about to be put into operation. It will produce about 1.2 million kWh of electricity annually, and should be commissioned during August this year.

The Kaštelir 2 solar power plant is being built at the Sabadin location in the area of ​​the Kaštelir-Labinci municipality in Istria, and will produce 2.9 million kWh. The value of the investment is 15 million kuna. The project represents an extension of the existing SE Kaštelir, which has been in operation since back in December 2018 and in 2019, it produced 1.5 million kWh.

The Vrlika Jug solar power plant, worth 11 million kuna, represents the realisation of the first phase of the planned construction in the southern part of the Kosora Work Zone, in the area of ​​the town of Vrlika. The connected power of the power plant will be 2.1 MW, and the expected annual production will be around 2.9 million kWh. It should start operating by the end of 2020.

The Obrovac solar power plant, worth 42.6 million kuna, is being built on the site of a former alumina factory. The expected annual electricity production of about 8.9 million kWh will be able to meet the needs of 2,800 households.

In the second half of 2020, the Stankovci solar power plant will be built. The expected annual production of 4.6 million kWh of electricity will be enough to supply 1,500 households. The value of the investment is 26.3 million kuna.

At the end of June, works were opened on the construction of the largest solar power plant in Croatia, on the island of Cres. The Cres solar power plant will contribute to strengthening the security of electricity supply and increasing the degree of energy self-sufficiency of the islands of Cres and Lošinj, especially in periods of increased consumption during the tourist seasons. The SE Cres project, worth 41 million kuna, was developed by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County until the location permit was obtained, when the project was taken over by HEP, which entrusted the construction to a consortium of PVI Solar, PVI GmbH, Intecco and Deling.

The 6.5 MW power plant will produce about 8.5 million kWh of electricity per year, which corresponds to the consumption of about 2,500 households. It covers an area of ​​17 hectares and is divided into 13 segments of individual power with a total of 20,330 solar panels that will be placed so as to allow for the unimpeded passage of small animals inside the solar power plant fence, as well as grazing sheep within the fenced area. Production will begin by the end of this year.

HEP cooperated with Croatian production forces on the construction of all of these power plants, and all the installed panels were from the successful Varaždin-based company Solvis.

HEP is considering the construction of two more solar power plants on the island of Cres, SE Cres 2 of 4.14 MW and SE Ustrine near Osor, with a capacity of 9.99 MW, which it is developing on the basis of a cooperation agreement with Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and Mali Lošinj.

As part of the EU INSULAE programme, HEP plans to build a 1 MW solar power plant with a battery tank on the island of Unije. This project is being developed in partnership with the Kvarner Energy Development Agency.

By 2023, HEP will invest 750 million kuna in solar power plants

Such projects are a great opportunity for all Croatian cities and municipalities, and on July the 2nd, 2020, HEP published a Public Invitation to all interested partners to express their interest in the development and sale of renewable energy projects in the Republic of Croatia, which will remain open until December the 31st, 2020. The call was sent to local self-government units for the joint preparation of development documentation for solar power plant projects, as well as legal and natural persons with slightly different criteria.

HEP decided to announce a new public call based on good experience in the response to their previous call from back in 2019. Based on the analysis of received expressions of interest and communication with local governments as potential partners, from September 2019 to April 2020, HEP signed agreements with 11 municipalities and cities on the development of solar power plant projects, with a total capacity of 120 MW.

HEP will invest 750 million kuna in the cycle of construction of solar power plants in Croatia during the period from 2019 to 2023 alone. These and other newly built HEP power plants will help meet Croatia's obligations in implementing the European Union's ambitious energy and climate goals, which were recently given their framework in the form of the European Green Plan.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

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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Monday, 24 February 2020

Providing Solar Power for the Underpriviledged in Croatia

February 24, 2020 - Zelena akcija (Friends of the Earth Croatia) and the initiative Ljudi za ljude (Humans for Humans) is helping Croatian citizens living in remote areas of the country, who don't have access to certain basics we all take for granted, such as electricity.

One of the people who will be provided with the solar power panels is Mara Stanić, a 71-year-old woman, living in a village called Čakale, near Glina, who hasn't had electricity in her house for the past ten years. Mara explains that her life is difficult without the electricity during the summer, as well as winter, as during the winter she has no way to store food and prevent it from spoiling. During the winter it's the boredom of the long nights, as well as her difficulty moving on crutches and using the outhouse with nothing more than a flashlight, Marina Kelava writes for h-alter.

That's why the people trying to help Mara and some of her neighbours started the crowdfunding campaign called "Ray of Sun - Light of Hope". They hope to get 13.500 Euros, which will allow them to install the solar panels and installations needed to provide electricity for several of the most vulnerable houses. Branka Bakšić Mitić, Glina's Deputy Mayor and one of the people involved in the "Humans for Humans" initiative explains that it's five or six people, mostly living alone who haven't had electricity for close to 20 years. The quarter of their goal has already been funded. 

In 2019, in one of the first similar projects, they installed the panels for Ljuba Ostojić, who lived without the electricity for 53 years. According to the official records, there are around five thousand people in over two thousand households all over Croatia without access to the electricity; however, Marija Mileta from the Friends of the Earth Croatia Society says that the number is probably higher than that. Their goal with this action is to prove that solar power is one of the key solutions for both energy poverty and the climate crisis. The systems they plan to install will differ, but will cost around 1500 Euros (without the installation costs). These systems won't allow for any bigger appliances to be used but will provide the light, radio and charging for the cell phones (needed for emergencies).

A year ago the European Index of Energy Poverty was published for the first time. It showed that in 17 EU countries the number of people living in energy poverty is still significant, and Croatia is one of those 17 countries.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Croatian Electric HEP: New Solar Power Plants on Adriatic Coast

Renewable energy sources are increasingly being harnessed on the Croatian coast, where there is ample wind and sun. In addition to wind power plants, which are multiplying every year, the construction of solar power plants is also on the rise.

There is one plant in Istria, which became operational in 2018, and three more will produce electricity in early 2020: on the islands of Cres and Vis and near Vrlika according to Morski on November 26, 2019. With investments of HRK 80 million, Croatian Electric Company (HEP) will add four new power plants to their network with a total capacity of 11.6 megawatts (MW). In the long term, they plan to complete solar power projects with a total power of 350 MW by the end of 2030.

The Kaštelir solar power plant has a capacity of 1 MW and an expected annual production of about 1.5 million kWh, which will meet the electricity needs of about 500 households. The power plant is equipped with solar panels manufactured by the Solvis company in Varaždin. This plant has been operating since December 2018. It has a contract with HROTE (Croatian Energy Market Operator) as a preferred producer within their incentive system. Here is an aerial video of the plant.

The location permit for the Cres solar power plant was obtained in June 2018 and that plant is being developed by the County of Primorje-goranska. The location of SE Cres is about 2 kilometers north of the settlement Orlec on the island of Cres. The power plant is 6.5 MW with an expected production capacity of 8.5 million kWh per year, which will meet the electricity needs of about 2,500 households. The total value of the investment is HRK 41 million. Preparatory work on the site is underway and the power plant will begin operating in 2020. Here is a simulation of the Cres power plant.

The Vis solar power plant will be located on the hill of Grizova Glavica, near the village of Žena Glava, about 3.6 kilometers southwest of the town of Vis and about 4.8 kilometers east of Komiža. HEP purchased the project from Končar-Obnovlji izvori energie (Končar Renewable Energy). The expected annual output is 4.2 million kWh, which will meet the needs of about 1,400 households. This investment is valued at HRK 25.3 million. The power plant is under construction and is expected to be operational by February 2020.

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The Vrlika Jug solar power plant represents the completion of the first phase of planned construction in the southern part of the Kosora working zone in the town of Vrlika. The power plant will have 2.1 MW of power and an estimated annual output of about 2.9 million kWh. Construction will be completed in the first half of 2020, according to HEP.

For more information on HEP solar plant projects, check out their website here.

To keep updated on renewable energy projects in Croatia, follow our Business page here and our Lifestyle page here.

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