SKOPJE (Macedonia), January 4 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is lending 5.9 million euro ($6.7 million) to Macedonian state-owned electricity company ELEM for the construction of the country's first large-scale solar power plant, the bank said on Friday.
The solar plant, which will be built at the site of an exhausted lignite coal mine, will produce nearly 15 GWh of electricity and displace 12,177 tonnes of CO2 per year, the EBRD said in a statement.
"This project will help the country reduce its reliance on ageing lignite-fired infrastructure and also help the local community in the Kicevo municipality, traditionally reliant on lignite mining and generation, to develop more sustainable practices," the EBRD said.
ELEM provides 90% of the country’s domestic electricity production – about 3,600 GWh from two thermal power plants and 1,250 GWh from eight hydro power plants. The company also operates two combined heat and power facilities and the first wind farm in the country, which produce about 100 GWh per year.
Macedonia is aiming to generate 23% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
($ = 0.8788 euro)