Akuo Energy and Elswedy Electric among six bidders for 100MW Kosovo solar project

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Kosovo aims to meet 35% of its energy demand with renewables by the end of the decade. Image: Albinfo via Wikimedia Commons

The government of Kosovo has announced the names of six bidders that have made applications for a contract to construct a new 100MW solar plant in the country.

The bidders include firms from around Europe and beyond: Turkish consortia Çalik-Limak and Guris Insaat Muhendishik and Swiss consortium Orllati; alongside German firm Notus Energy Kosovo, French company Akuo Energy SAS and Egyptian firm Elswedy Electric.

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Akuo Energy has worked frequently in both the European solar sector, and emerging markets, working on a 180MW project in Portugal and a floating solar farm in France, but this is the company’s first involvement in Kosovo.

The government first announced the bidding process in May last year, and the project will be built in Kramovik, in the Rahovec municipality in southern Kosovo. As part of the project, the successful bidder will sign a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to provide power generated at the project to KOSTT, Kosovo’s national market operator, and KOSTT noted that this agreement could be converted to a contract for difference, as Kosovo looks to decarbonise its energy mix.

Advancing the Kosovan energy transition

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Kosovo had just 10MW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2022, and the US International Trade Administration reported in January that the country’s energy demand is predominantly met by “two depreciated and inefficient” coal-fired plants. The Kosovan government plans to decommission at least one of these coal-fired plants by 2031, although questions remain as to how the government will replace its power generation capacity in a country that saw electricity consumption and peak demand jump by 20% between 2018 and 2021.

The government plans to use renewables to replace this lost capacity, and aims to meet 35% of its energy demand with renewables by the end of the decade, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32%, and government support for new renewable projects will be an integral part of this transition.

“With the same enthusiasm, we will develop other competitive projects as part of this package, starting with the 150MW wind auction that we will launch this year”, said minister of the economy Artane Rizvanolli, explaining how the solar auction will fit into the country’s wider renewable power goals.

The Kosovan government aims to implement a series of similar auctions for other renewable power projects in the next two years, which will see developers add 950MW of new power capacity to the country’s grid. The government also noted that these projects would require a total investment of €1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion).

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