Securum Equity Partners has signed a contract with the Serbian Government to build a 1GW solar park.
The contract is a non-binding agreement and consequently includes few concrete details at present, although it has been revealed that the planned site is will cover 3,000 hectares and is likely to be in southern Serbia.
The initial stage of development will see Securum partner Amicorp Fund Services to create a fund, titled the Neper Solar Park Incubator. The park will cost an estimated €2 billion and is scheduled to be grid connected in 2015.
“If the project goes ahead, Serbia will have the biggest solar plant in the world,” Serbia’s Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning, Bojan Djuric, said. “At the moment the biggest project is in California and produces 500MW. We are excited about bringing large-scale solar to Serbia, but we're at early stages of negotiations and the terms are yet to be discussed. So far we have signed a cooperation contract, which is not a legally binding document.”
“Several considerations lead to the choice of Serbia as the ideal partner for the production of renewable energy: firstly, there is great potential for water resources suitable for energy production. And secondly, there is an equally large availability for land that is not suitable for agricultural purposes, of adequate size and located in a geographical area that offers a conversion rate of solar radiation into electrical energy which is among the highest in Europe,” a statement from Securum said.
The contract continues a growing trend within Serbia of outsourcing major energy projects to foreign investors and is a boost for the PV industry in both Serbia and Europe. However, before the project pipeline can be set in stone several logistical and financial hurdles still need to be cleared. Additionally, with a general election in Serbia scheduled for some time in 2012, the changing nature of the political landscape may also have a bearing on the project’s future.