North Macedonia's state-owned electricity company ESM started test operation of a 10 MW photovoltaic plant built at the location of an old coal mine in the Oslomej village, the government said on Wednesday.
The solar park is expected to produce 15-17 GWh of electricity per year, enough to cover the consumption of 2,800 households, prime minister Dimitar Kovacevski said in a press release.
The project was supported with a 5.9 million euro ($6.4 million) loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as a grant of 1.6 million euro from bilateral donors to the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), the EBRD said in a separate statement.
ESM signed an agreement with Turkey's Girisim Elektrik for the construction of the solar park in November 2019.
The country also plans to install an additional 100 MW of solar power capacity at the location which would replace the thermal power plant Oslomej adjacent to the mine. For that purpose, the government signed contracts worth 70 million euro with Bulgarian solar energy group Solarpro Holding and Turkey's Fortis Energy Electric in June 2021. Under the deals, each of the companies will build one solar power plant with an installed capacity of 50 MW at the location under a public-private partnership with ESM, the government said at the time.
($ = 0.9149 euro)
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