Conergy expands into Romania with 2.2MW PV plant

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German PV developer Conergy is building its first solar plant in Romania in partnership with local developer Solanna Investment.

Conergy will mark its entry into the Eastern European country with a 2.2MW PV facility which is currently under construction on 13,700 square metres of land in Bobiceşti near the Romanian town of Craiova.

Around 9,400 Conergy PowerPlus modules will be installed at the site delivered from Conergy’s factory in Frankfurt, Germany. The modules will help the system to generate around 2,840 MWh of electricity annually which is enough to supply approximately 870 households.

As part of Romania’s green certificate subsidy scheme, the operators of the 2.2MW plant will receive 17,040 green certificates per year.

Under this scheme, power plants with a capacity of up to 10MW will receive six green certificates for every megawatt hour of electricity they produce for a period of 15 years. The power plant operators can either trade these certificates at the energy exchange or sell them directly to energy suppliers or energy-intensive businesses. These businesses need the certificates in order to comply with the government’s mandatory quota model.

In 2012 the government required energy suppliers to source 12% of their power from renewable sources. This figure rose to 14% this year and will increase by 1% every year between 2014 and 2018. If a company fails to meet this quota, it will need to purchase the appropriate number of emission certificates at a price of €110 each.

However, in November a proposal was put forward to reduce the number of green certificates awarded to investments in PV.

Romania is set to become an emerging solar market and is expected to grow 15-fold by 2016. Conergy Board Member Alexander Gorski said: “Romania has great potential as a solar growth market in Eastern Europe. The government intends to cover at least 20% of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2020 and will be relying mainly on solar energy in addition to wind power. By the end of 2012, the energy authority expects the market to reach around 100 megawatts of installed solar capacity. For the future, their prognosis is even more optimistic: the market could grow 15-fold and reach 1,500MW by 2016 – and we have every intention of benefiting from this growth.”

This view was echoed by IHS which places Romania in its “top five markets to watch out for in 2013”. According to the market intelligence firm, the country’s attractive incentive rates are set to be cut in 2014 which will, in turn, cause a rush in PV installations in 2013. IHS adds that the pipeline in Romania appears to be well developed but projects may struggle to obtain financing.

The move to Romania is in line with Conergy’s international expansion strategy. Commenting on its growing international business, Gorski said: “Conergy is already active in over 40 markets on all five continents today. Our early internationalisation means that we are generating over three quarters of our sales outside of Germany. We intend to increase our international sales activities as well as our service business even further in the future. That is why we are developing further interesting solar markets besides Romania, such as Tunisia and Morocco in North Africa, for instance. Japan, numerous countries in Southeast Asia, South Africa and South America also represent very interesting solar markets for us for the future.”

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