In recent months, there are more and more plans for the construction of small solar power plants throughout Serbia. We are talking about small solar plants on the ground, with a capacity of up to one megawatt, for which a building permit is required, and which are being built in order to deliver the entire production to the Serbian power system.

Jelica Putniković, editor of the Energija Balkana portal, tells eKapija that now there are many investors who want to build small solar power plants on several hectares.

– I was recently contacted by a man with such an idea and questions about what he needs for such a project. I think that in our country, a lot of attention is paid to large producers of renewable energy, who previously had feed-in tariffs and now expect the state to provide them with balancing. And this is a group of smaller producers that are not talked about much, but actually have great potential, and it is certainly good to provide as many such capacities as possible, because then Serbia will simply have to think less about large capacities for electricity production.

One of the investors involved in the construction of smaller solar power plants is a company MANY doo Kraljevo. As owner Srđan Dragojlović told our portal, they are currently finalizing the procedure for starting the construction of three solar power plants in Kraljevo, KO Ribnica.

– From March, we should start the construction of the Ribnica 1, Ribnica 2 and Ribnica 3 power plants, each with a power of 490 kW, and we plan to finish everything by September next year. We are investing 350,000 EUR each in this project – says Dragojlović.

It also reveals what are the biggest obstacles to the construction of a small solar power plant in Serbia:

– The biggest problem is getting the conditions from the electricity distribution company for the design and connection of the solar power plant, for example we waited 8 months. We submitted the request in February 2021 and now we are waiting for the location conditions for which we submitted in August, we also worked on the urban planning project, all this is ongoing. We expect the building permit sometime in early January.

The interlocutor states that SOK was the first to build a solar power plant in Serbia, in 2010, on Kosovo and Metohija, for the needs of Devič Monastery.

– Two years later, we built a sample solar power plant in Kraljevo to check the profitability of such plants, so for now we have two of our own that we built and are in operation, the other is in Baja’s garden. We are talking about micro solar power plants, with a power of about 50 KW.

When asked how profitable such facilities are, Dragojlović says that they are, but that the period of profitability is 8-10 years.
He reveals to eKapija that the next thing in the plan is another solar power plant, of 500 KW, also in the vicinity of Kraljevo, for which they have already submitted a request.

Another complex of three solar power plants is also planned in the Municipality of Doljevac, where companies Hyperactive group doo Beograd i GAT doo Novi Sad intend to build three solar power plants, Šajinovac 1, 2 and 3. The detailed regulation plan of this project was open to public inspection until recently.

Finally, a small solar power plant could soon spring up in Stalać as well, given that the detailed regulation plan for the construction of the 999 kW solar power plant “Mladost 5 – Stalać” in KO Stalać, Ćićevac municipality is currently under early public inspection.

The investor of the project is a company IGM Mladost Leskovac, which plans to place the produced energy in the transmission system.

Professor Nikola Rajaković, president of the Energy Association, tells eKapija that the increase in investments in small solar power plants that will produce for the market is very good news, although such investors also face procedural problems that the state should solve.

– Each connection to the system takes a long time because Elektrodistribucija Srbije cannot turn to flexible procedures that would meet the needs of small producers. Market circumstances are seriously changing, and they still seem to be operating under the conditions of a centralized electricity company – Rajaković believes.

He points out the great benefit of small solar power plants up to 1 MW for the power system, but also more broadly, for the whole society:

– Each produced megawatt-hour from those small solar power plants is a replacement for the megawatt-hour that must be produced in thermal power plants. It is clear to everyone how important the profession is, that’s why he looks positively at such small producers.

Rajaković states that they should enable the additional simplification of all procedures that precede the obtaining of a construction permit, and then enable the establishment of special energy entities.

– It would be ideal if more of them join together in a “virtual power plant” and thus appear on the electricity market, because that way they would have a better chance of making more money – assesses Rajaković, and adds that the fact that the price of electricity certainly helps them it won’t go down.

It is important to note that projects for the construction of solar power plants are not among those for which an environmental impact assessment is mandatory, as they are considered one of the cleanest sources of renewable energy.

Jelica Putniković, however, notes that no green energy is completely clean.

– Solar energy also has environmental impact problems, for example when it comes to disposing of waste, i.e. used solar panels – says our interlocutor.

Professor Rajaković, on the other hand, is of the opinion that all aluminum from the frame of solar panels can be recycled.

– We are currently conducting serious analyzes related to this problem, because in Serbia, this recycling does not work at the moment. But apart from that, it should also be noted that the residual value, when the solar power plant ends its life, is not zero with solar panels – you can sell aluminum and make money, while the residual value with other thermal energy plants is negative, because you have to invest a lot of money to close the thermal power plants – Rajaković states.

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