Slovenia, HSE opens Prapretno, the largest solar power plant in the country, SEE Energy News
The municipality of Hrastnik, a part of the region undergoing economic transformation after the shutdown of coal mines and thermal power plants, received the largest solar power plant in Slovenia, built by HSE. Another similar project is underway.
In addition, the local self-government has just approved the establishment of an energy cooperative that intends to install the largest photovoltaic system owned by citizens in the country.
The state-owned Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE), the country’s largest electricity producer, has completed the 3 MW Prapretno solar power plant, the country’s largest. That plant was built on rehabilitated land on the site of the former landfill of the shut down Trbovlje thermal power plant.
According to the announcement, the photovoltaic system near Prapretno in Hrastnik can be expanded to 13 MW. The company had previously indicated it would increase capacity to 16 MW.
The municipality of Hrastnik is in Zasavje, one of the two regions in the country that are turning from coal and thermal power plants towards sustainable development. In that area, the exploitation of coal has already stopped, as well as the production of electricity from that fossil fuel.
Small hydro, solar power plants for energy security
Prime Minister Janez Janša inaugurated the solar power plant and pointed out the current energy crisis and the importance of electricity sources that are as close as possible to the domestic space. Therefore, the construction of small hydropower plants and small solar power plants should not be encouraged only in terms of environmental protection and the need for a green transition, but also for security reasons, he added.
“Our plan is to provide electricity from solar energy for about half of the households in the next decade, which requires billions of investments,” Jansa said.
General Manager Viktor Vracar said that HSE will also invest in the expansion of the Zlatolicje-Formin solar power plant and that it is considering possibilities for using wind energy.
The contractor was HTZ, a company that originated from the coal industry
More than 8.7 million tons of ash and slag from the Trbovlje thermal power plant were deposited at this location from 1986 to 2010. The Prapretno photovoltaic plant consists of 6,748 modules, and the annual production is estimated at more than three GWh, HSE announced. That is equal to the electricity consumption of 800 households, the company added.
The plant was designed by HSE Invest, which also provided a construction and supervision permit. The contractor was HTZ from Velenje, a company that is preparing for the future without the coal industry, from which it originated. Earlier, it also received a contract for the installation of a solar power plant on the canal of the Zlatoličje hydroelectric power plant.
Another photovoltaic plant will be set up on the site of a former coal mine
Hrastnik has the ambition to get the largest photovoltaic system jointly owned by citizens in Slovenia. The local council has just approved the proposal to establish an energy community, ie a cooperative.
The future solar system, with a capacity of 300 kV, should be installed on the roof of the primary school. The value of the project is estimated at 235,000 euros, of which the Ministry of Infrastructure would provide a 20 percent grant, and the remaining 60 percent would be covered by loans. Citizens will be able to participate by investing 150 euros per kV, the local self-government reveals.
At the end of last year, the company Rudis announced that it would build a solar power plant with a nominal power of 1.5 MW on the site of the former tailings pond and closed coal mine Trbovlje-Hrastnik.