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May. 9, 2013

A Sunny Outlook for Conergy’s Second Solar Project in Romania

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Romania, Slobozia—Conergy, one of the world’s leading PV solution and service providers, is expanding its footprint in the Romanian market with the development of a 2-megawatt solar power plant in the region of Slobozia.

Currently under construction, the new project will spread across 10 acres of land (approximately three soccer fields) and will include over 8,000 “made in Germany” Conergy modules. Upon completion, the plant is expected to generate more than 2,700 megawatt hours of solar electricity annually, enough energy to power about 770 households. Furthermore, the project will prevent the emission of 1,400 tons of CO2, equivalent to the annual emissions of approximately 700 cars.

Conergy’s solar park will become profitable thanks to a quota model involving so-called “green certificates” and “Power Purchase Agreements,” the company announced.

Unlike other European countries, Romania does not offer feed-in tariffs as subsidies for solar power projects. Instead, the state requires energy providers and energy-intensive businesses to obtain 14 percent of their electricity from renewable sources (this proportion is due to a rise of 1 percent year over year, reaching 19.5 percent by 2019).

For this purpose, energy providers need a certain number of “green certificates.” If they are unable to achieve the required quota, they need to purchase the emission certificates at a price of €110 each to cover the deficit.

Power plants with a maximum total capacity of 10 megawatt currently receive six certificates for each renewable megawatt hour generated over the subsequent 15 years. By 2014 the numbers are expected to be reduced to three certificates. The owners of the 2-megawatt Conergy power plant will be receiving 16,200 green certificates each year for their annual production (around 2,700 megawatt hours), thus a total of 243,000 over 15 years. When the certificates are traded, the market prices per certificate are fixed until 2025 in a range between € 27 and € 55. Certificates that could not be sold during the course of any one year will be bought up by the national energy regulation authority (Autoriatea Nationala de Reglementare in domeniul Energiei, ANRE) at the fixed minimum price. The power plant operators thus sell their electricity and in addition receive income from trading the green certificates, ranging in the case of the 2 MW Conergy plant from € 6.6 million to € 13.4 million over the period of 15 years.

In January, Conergy announced the construction of its first project in Romania, a 2.2-megawatt solar plant in Bobiceşti near the town of Craiova (pictured). The Hamburg-based company has partnered with Solanna Investment S.r.l. to develop the plant, which is expected to generate about 2,840 megawatt hours of clean solar power annually.

“The Romanian solar market has great growth potential for the future, and the government has set ambitious targets for the expansion of renewable energies,” says Conergy Board Member Alexander Gorski. “Currently, Romania is covering around two thirds of its electricity demand by power generated in the country itself. Large-scale solar power plants will be playing an increasingly important role in helping to enable the country to also satisfy the rapidly rising demand for electricity in the future. We intend to expand our business in this segment further in the years to come. And thanks to our extensive expertise in the planning and implementation of large-scale projects, we are offering domestic and foreign investors optimum quality and the greatest possible investment security–among others through the TÜV certification of our power plants.”

Founded in 1998, Conergy is active in over 40 countries across five continents and currently employs around 1,200 people. So far, the company has produced and sold more than 2.2 gigawatts of clean solar energy. In 2012, with a total capacity of more than 420 megawatts, Conergy’s plants generated more electricity than one nuclear plant.

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