Croatia: Transmission network development draft plan

, SEE Energy News

The proposal of the 10-year Transmission Network Development Plan 2021-2030 was published recently. This draft plan provides details on the planned connections of new electricity generation facilities to the transmission network operated by HOPS. The new plan is in line with the new Croatian Energy Development Strategy until 2030, which envisages a moderate transition to renewables and energy efficiency measures, as well as an even more important 2021-2030 Integrated National Energy Plan. In addition to new hydropower facilities and wind farms, for the first time the connection of large solar power plants to the transmission network, for which there is great interest, is being analyzed.

In September 2020, a total of 25 wind farms were connected to the transmission and distribution network, with a total approved connection capacity of 794.95 MW. In the 2021-2023 period, as much as 545 MW of wind power plants are expected to be connected to the grid, so that at the end of the next three-year period, 1,274 MW of wind power plants could be connected to the transmission network. Among these, the 120 MW Konavoska Brda wind farm and the 156 MW Senj wind farm stand out. In the next three-year period, the construction and connection of one new gas-fired power plant is planned – CHPP Zagreb unit L, with a capacity of 150 MW. The process of revitalization of four units in HPP Zakucac is in progress, which would increase the total connection capacity of the planr by 52 MW, to a total of 538 MW.

In the activities that precede the conclusion of the connection agreement are HPP Varazdin (16 MW) and 20 MW geothermal power plant Zagocha, which should be connected to the network in 2022 and 19.9 MW geothermal power plant Legrad of 19.9 MW, whose connection is expected in 2025. 33.7 MW HPP Kosinj and 156 MW pump-storage HPP Vinodol should be connected in 2024. Preliminary approvals for 540 MW pump-storage HPP Vrdovo, 600 MW pump-storage HPP Korita and 380 MW HPP Senj 2 were also obtained.

In recent years, HOPS has received a large number of requests for the connection of new wind farms, with a total capacity of more than 2,500 MW. Capacity of wind projects in Croatia ranges between 18 MW and 425 MW, and due to the increasing capacity of the projects, connections to the 220 and 400 kV network are being considered.

In the medium-term, an even larger influx is expected, as the development studies for as many as 1,372.9 MW of wind farms are underway, of which the largest is Lika Medved wind farm with a capacity of 425 MW, while many existing investors are increasing the capacity of the existing facilities (Vratarusa 2, Visoka, Zelovo, Danilo 2, Rudine 2, Korita A). By the end of the planned ten-year period, a total of 3087.9 MW of wind power plants could be connected to the transmission network.

From 2017 to September 2020, HOPS received a significant number of requests for the connection of solar power plants to the electricity transmission network, with a total capacity of over 2,413 MW. The estimated capacity of individual solar power plants ranges from 12 to 150 MW. Currently, only one solar power plant has a contract for connection to the transmission network – 12.4 MW solar power plant Drava near Osijek.