The Serbian government has allocated a quota of 50 MW for its first solar auction. Solar power plants with an output of more than 500 kW can participate in the competition with a maximum price of €90 ($96.10)/MWh.
The ceiling price in future auctions has been set at €105/MWh for wind farms over 3 MW and €90/MWh for solar projects over 500 kW. The state-owned electricity company Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) acts as the sole supplier of these projects.
The wind quota was originally set in December 2021, but no tender was held in the meantime. Now, the first wind auction is expected to take place this month, as Energy Minister Dubravka Djedovic announced in May.
The winners of the tender are subject to the newly introduced balance sheet responsibility contract model, according to which they are obliged to pay additional payments to EPS for deviations from the forecasted production. The amount of surcharges will be determined according to the next day’s market prices, the government said.
The auctions are organized with the financial support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In March, the EBRD approved a €300 million financing package for the EPS to accelerate the deployment of wind and solar energy and help achieve the country’s goal of phasing out coal by 2050. The bank has assisted the Serbian authorities in the development of renewable energy auctions. from 2020 onwards.
The date for the solar auction has not yet been set. However, the government said it expects “fierce competition” because the country already has more than 100 MW of solar power plants with production licenses at this stage.
According to government data, Serbia currently has 23 ongoing solar projects. The country’s largest solar power plant, the 9.9 MW DeLasol solar power project was commissioned in central Serbia in Lapovo in April.
In May, the Serbian government announced that it was 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 facilities are supposed to be built in four to five years, while the contract with the strategic partner selected by tender will last six to seven years.
Serbia 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 document, utility-scale solar projects could be built on 200,000 hectares of neglected, low-value agricultural land that could hold 2 GW of solar energy.
The draft also outlines the construction of approximately 200 million euros worth of approximately 300 MW solar power plants 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.