North Macedonia: EBRD considers providing loan for solar projects

, SEE Energy News

The solar project will contribute to the green transition quality by supporting the construction of 30MW of installed capacity in solar power, expected to result in CO2 savings of 33,000 tons annually. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) considers providing a loan worth up to 25 million euros to North Macedonian state-owned power utility ESM for solar project with installed capacity of 30 MW.

The project consists of the expansion of 10 MW solar power plant Oslomej, which is currently under construction, located on the depleted Oslomej coalmine, and the expansion of 20 MW solar power plant Bitola project, located near the namesake thermal power plant. The decision on providing the loan should be reached by 16 December 2020. The project is part of a broad partnership with the North Macedonian authorities and ESM to promote a just and green transition, encompassing investment in new green capacity for ESM, adding clean renewable energy generation to a region and country with serious capacity shortages and high reliance on lignite mining.

Last year, the EBRD said that it has decided to provide a loan worth 5.9 million euros to ESM for the purpose of the construction of 10 MW Oslomej solar power plant. The facility would be built on the exhausted coal mine near thermal power plant Oslomej. The project is part of the strategy of ESM to diversify its production mix away from coal and increase the production share from renewable energy sources, which will provide clean energy in a country and a region with serious capacity shortages and high levels of carbon intensity. Estimated annual electricity generation of the future solar park is around 15 GWh. The project’s value is around 7 million euros. Electricity produced by the plant would be sold on the liberalized market, without depending on any state support schemes. This would be ESM’s first investment into solar energy, as part of the company’s strategy of decarbonization and increasing its renewables portfolio. In November 2019, ESM and Turkish company Girisim Elektrik have signed an agreement on the construction of 10 MW solar power plant Oslomej.