Macedonia to construct a solar power plant on the site of an exhausted coal mine with EBRD money

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Macedonian plans to move decisively forward with decarbonization are making a big leap forward, as the EBRD is lending €5.9 million to ELEM, the state-owned electricity company, to build the first large-scale solar power plant on the site of an exhausted lignite coal mine. The company will meet the rest of the total costs estimated at €8.7 million.

The new solar plant is ELEM’s first and will be the largest in the country. Once operational it will produce nearly 15 GWh a year of electricity and displace 12,177 tons of CO2 a year. It will also support ELEM’s efforts to rehabilitate the 26 hectare mine site that used to supply the TPP with coal.

The country, whose capital Skopje was recently named one of Europe’s most polluted cities, aims to source 23 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, writes Vanora Bennett, on the EBRD website.

ELEM, a public electricity generation utility owned by the Macedonian government, provides 90 per cent of the country’s domestic electricity production – about 3,600 GWh from two thermal power plants and 1,250 GWh from eight hydropower plants. ELEM also operates two combined heat and power facilities and the first wind farm in the country, producing about 100 GWh annually.

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