The Serbian government is looking for a strategic partner to develop at least five solar power plants with a cumulative capacity of 1 GW/1.2 GWh and at least 200 MW/400 MWh of battery energy storage. The state electricity company Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) owns and operates the solar projects and batteries.
The strategic partner is expected to develop 1 GW/1.2 GWh of solar energy and at least 200 MW/400 MWh of co-located battery energy storage systems. According to the board’s decision, the state-owned electricity company EPS acts as the owner and investor of the project.
The partner must choose the construction sites for the premises, prepare all the necessary documentation and acquire the equipment. It is specified that single-axis tracking devices should be used.
The partner will operate the solar plants and batteries for two years, during which it is expected to provide O&M training for the EPS team. After the two-year period, the facilities will be exclusively owned and operated by EPS, which has previously drawn up plans to decommission around 1 GW of thermal power plants in the period 2025-35.
The solar and battery facilities will be delivered within four to five years, while the agreement with the strategic partner covers a period of six to seven years. The government has formed a working group to organize a tender, select the successful tenders and negotiate with the selected strategic partner.
According to the Association of Renewable Energy Sources of Serbia, the country has installed about 50 MW of solar energy. However, this figure is not accurate, as there is no official register at this point. In April, Serbia launched its largest solar power plant, the 9.9 MW DeLasol PV project in Lapovo, central Serbia.
Serbia currently aims to deploy 8.3 GW of solar electricity by 2024, according to a draft plan released by the government last year. According to the draft, 200,000 hectares of neglected, low-value agricultural land could be built with utility-scale solar projects that could accommodate 2 GW of solar energy.
The document also outlines the construction of around 300MW of solar power plants worth 200 million euros ($219.6 million) on land owned by EPS – mainly at its coal ash dumps. Most of the planned solar capacity in the 2022-24 draft is assumed to come from rooftop solar.