GEN-I to start with the construction of its first larger scale solar plant

With the project in North Macedonia, GEN-I will considerably expand its portfolio of renewable energy, setting the path for green transformation in the region.

Figure 1: (from left) Igor Koprivnikar PhD, member of the GEN-I management board and director of GEN-I Sonce DOOEL Skopje, Kreshnik Bekteshi, Minister of Economy of the Republic of North Macedonia and Oliver Spasovski, Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia

Following the results of the Republic of North Macedonia’s 1st tender for the solar photovoltaics construction on state land, GEN-I is making inroads to large-scale solar production in the region. The solar plant, which will be located in Amzabegovo in North Macedonia is planned to supply North Macedonia as well as regional markets.

GEN-I was awarded with three out of 11 lots, representing 17 MW out of a total 35 MW offered and the highest capacity available to a single investor, as part of the Republic of North Macedonia’s 1st tender for solar PV construction on state land. This novel solution for public tendering for renewable energy sources awards the right to build and generate solar power for 50 years, with the state securing the conversion of land into construction land, approval of construction permits and land use, as well as connection to the network. These are three crucial steps which enable the full unlocking of solar PV investment potential, and which the Government of North Macedonia has rightly recognised as crucial to fulfilling its sustainability objectives and climate goals.

The project will be GEN-I’s first owned solar plant in North Macedonia, and will be built and operated by the company GEN-I Sonce DOOEL Skopje. The construction works are planned to start in the beginning of 2021 and, in line with tender requirements, the solar plant shall become fully operational by the start of 2023. GEN-I is the leading player on North Macedonia’s wholesale electricity market and cross-border trading across the region, so the solar plant’s annual production of almost 25,000 MWh will complement and enhance the synergies within GEN-I’s flexible global portfolio, simultaneously enabling optimal supply of the solar energy produced.

Figure 2: Igor Koprivnikar PhD, member of the GEN-I management board and director of GEN-I Sonce DOOEL Skopje

“We are very happy to announce the construction of GEN-I’s own first solar plant, following tender results announcement, which ensured us with 50 years of land use with the right to build and sell solar power. Tender propositions were very well thought through and addressed three crucial challenges which are known to otherwise hinder solar PV investments by providing the state guaranteed support for conversion of land parcels into construction land, support with construction permits and land use – and connection to the network.” said Igor Koprivnikar PhD, director of GEN-I Sonce DOOEL Skopje and member of the GEN-I management board.

Investment in the solar plant represents the first such participation of GEN-I in tenders for solar construction in the region, and was selected due to the high solar potential in North Macedonia and its suitability as the first building block for realisation of GEN-I’s ambitious strategy to become the driving force for the green transformation also in the region. In Slovenia, GEN-I is already recognized as a green pioneer with significant experience, having built more than 1,000 home rooftop solar plants for domestic self-consumption under its GEN-I Sonce brand, the first solar plant for collective self-consumption on an apartment building, and innovative solutions for e-mobility. Recently, GEN-I expanded its activities to the Croatian market as well, installing the first solar power plant for self-consumption of a commercial building and enabling electric vehicle charging possibilities for users of its e-mobility services on both sides of the Slovenian-Croatian border.

Solar power plants are one of the best resources amidst the fight against climate change. Solar energy is an available, accessible and renewable option that helps reduce carbon emissions across the globe. Every kWh of clean energy is important for the people and our planet and we need as many as we can get. The goal is therefore not to provide energy, but to provide clean energy. GEN-I is well aware of that and while setting up numerous solar energy units in Slovenia, it is now going regional as well.

Entering into power production from renewable energy sources opens an entirely new dimension for GEN-I’s portfolio of sustainable and integrated energy services, which also encompasses unlocking of synergies on capital markets for financing through both the issuance of green bonds and partnerships with long-term investors. In this context, the solar plant in North Macedonia is an important milestone in GEN-I’s commitment to the rapid transition to a green, carbon-free society and its mission of providing advanced solutions of integrated energy services to drive the green transformation of the region.