Slovenian utility installing solar plant at 136-MW Zlatolicje hydroelectric plant

Solar PV
Photo by Angie Warren on Unsplash

Slovenia’s Dravske elektrarne Maribor, which operates as part of the HSE Group, announced it is beginning construction of segment five of the Zlatolicje solar power plant on the left bank of the discharge channel for the 136-MW Zlatolicje hydroelectric plant.

DEM said this arrangement will add value to the country’s largest hydroelectric power plant while gaining gigawatt-hours of electricity for the country from a renewable source.

Segment five of the Zlatolicje solar power plant will be 905 m long, featuring nearly 6,000 photovoltaic modules with a total rated power of almost 2.7 MWp and planned annual production of about 3,000 MWh. The slope of the terrain, which in some places exceeds 30 degrees, will provide some challenges for contractor HTZ Velenje, which is also part of the HSE Group. An additional challenge is the proximity of the canal, where water flow is up to 550 cubic meters per second. The value of the project is 2 million euros.

Segment five is part of a larger emerging solar power plant with a total nominal capacity of about 30 MWp and estimated annual production of 37,000 MWh, which will be built on the supply and discharge channels of Zlatolicje and 116-MW Formin hydropower plants in the coming years. The company independently, within the HSE Group and with external partners, is researching other suitable locations for the installation of solar power plants.

“With the construction of the first segment, the planned larger solar power plant, the company Dravske elektrarne Maribor and the HSE Group are following the state’s commitments to increase electricity production from renewable sources and the needs of households and the economy. We are convinced that it is worthwhile, in an environmentally and socially acceptable way, to use all the resources and knowledge available in Slovenia and thus enable the country’s energy independence in the future, ” said Andrej Tumpej, director of Dravske elektrarne Maribor.

Dravske elektrarne Maribor operates eight hydropower plants on the Drava River and produced 2,018 GWh of electricity in the first seven months of 2021, exceeding the plan by 24%. Together with other hydro companies of the HSE Group, 2,731 GWh of electricity from a water source was produced by the end of July.

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