Romania: EC Oltenia to build four large-scale solar power plants

, SEE Energy News

Romanian coal-based electricity producer Energy Complex Oltenia will built four large-scale solar power plants in areas where ash from its TPPs is deposited, as well as on overburden dumps of its coal mining operations. Solar power plants are to be built because EC Oltenia plans to achieve its restructuring and decarbonization targets.  The company’s management is planning to use financing from the European Just Transition Fund for this project.

The four solar power plants will have a combined installed capacity of 310 MW and will stretch over a total area of some 600 hectares. According to the company, the average annual capacity utilization ratio must be over 15 % and the lifetime of each plant must be at least 20 years, with a maximum efficiency reduction of 20 % at the end of this period.

In February, Romanian Government approved the emergency ordinance by which EC Oltenia receives over 250 million euros for the purchase of the carbon dioxide certificates for 2019. The aid was later approved by the European Commission. By the end of the first quarter of 2020, the company will have to develop, in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), a development and decarbonization plan, in line with the obligations and requirements established by the national and European regulations, including those resulting from the implementation of the new package of legislation regarding the internal market, adopted in 2019 and correlated with the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030, as well as the plan for restructuring the company’s activities, specifying the investment effort necessary to cover all the costs of this action: investments in the modernization – respectively the replacement with new capacities, layoffs, professional reconversions, environmental protection works, etc. At the same time, the Ministry undertakes the preparation of a study of evaluation and impact of the plan of development and decarbonization of the sector of coal-based electricity production, with clear terms of reduction/closure of coal-fired capacities and their replacement with less polluting capacities and with sizing the investment need, correlated with the existing financial instruments and applicable at European level to the member states that have to manage the transition of the areas where coal extraction is the main element of economic development.

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