The Hrastnik municipality, part of a coal region undergoing economic transformation, hosts the largest solar power plant in Slovenia built by state-owned HSE.
Coal mining region revive as solar power plant
State-owned Holding Slovenske Elektrarne (HSE), Slovenia’s largest electricity producer, completed the biggest solar power plant in the country. The 3 MW plant is in Prapretno pri Hrastniku, the municipality undergoing an economic transformation after coal mining ceased and the power plant was shut down.
The facility was built on a rehabilitated landfill that belonged to the defunct coal-fired Trbovlje thermal power plant – Balkan Green Energy News reported. According to the announcement, the photovoltaic facility in Prapretno pri Hrastniku can be expanded to 13 MW. The utility earlier suggested it would increase the capacity to 16 MW.
Electricity sources as close to home as possible
Prime Minister Janez Janša, who inaugurated the solar power plant, pointed to the current energy crisis and the importance of having electricity sources as close to home as possible.
“We plan to secure solar power supply for about half of households in the next decade, which will require billions in investments,” – Janša stated.
Chief Executive Officer Viktor Vračar said HSE would also invest in the expansion of the Zlatoličje-Formin solar power plant and that it is looking at opportunities for wind energy utilization.
According to HSE, the new photovoltaic plant has 6,748 modules and an estimated annual output of more than 3 GWh per year. It is the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 800 households, it added.
Let Hrastnik be the sunniest municipality in Slovenia!
Mayor Marko Funkl said the project would be expanded to the territory of a neighbouring municipality as another photovoltaic plant is to be installed. “Let Hrastnik be the sunniest municipality in Slovenia!”- he said.
Hrastnik has the ambition to host the largest citizen-owned solar power system in Slovenia this year. The municipal council has approved the proposal for the establishment of an energy community or cooperative.
The inhabitants of Hrastnik will be able to participate in a 300 kW rooftop solar system by investing EUR 150 per kW. The photovoltaic unit is planned to be installed on the roof of an elementary school. The project is estimated at EUR 235,000, of which the Ministry of Infrastructure is set to provide a grant for 20% while 60% should be covered by a loan. Citizens will be able to purchase 1 kW for EUR 150, the local authority revealed.
Rudis said late last year that it intends to install a solar power plant with a peak capacity of 1.5 MW at the site of the former Trbovlje-Hrastnik coal mine and its tailings dump.
Photo: HSE Group