Albania launches 100 MW wind auction
Date: June 21st 2021
Author: Tanja Srnovršnik
Albania launched its first auction for the construction of utility-scale onshore wind power plants on Monday, with the government setting the ceiling price at EUR 75/MWh, said the country’s energy ministry.Companies will be able to apply to submit applications for projects of between 10 MW and 75 MW. Albania’s energy minister, Belinda Balluku, revealed the country would buy a total of 100 MW at a pre-fixed price.
The total tendered capacity may be increased to 150 MW in the coming months, in line with the country’s renewable energy targets, said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which helped the Albanian authorities in the introduction of competitive procurement processes for renewable energy projects.
Developers are invited to submit their qualification submissions by mid-June 2022. This will be followed by a request for proposals from applicants who were successful in the first phase.
The companies that want to participate in the auction will also get access to the wind power study conducted by the ministry with the support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The study details protected areas where wind farms cannot be built and lists the areas with the highest wind production potential. This gives companies the opportunity to select areas from around 20% of Albania’s territory with the condition that only areas that are over 150 metres above sea level can be exploited, added Balluku.
The projects will be selected based on their feasibility as well as grid connection possibilities made possible by investments that have been made by the TSO, OST, and the DSO, Oshee, said the ministry, adding that the state has not made any land available.
An announcement of the successful bidders is expected in the first half of 2023, added the EBRD.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) estimates that Albania could deploy over 600 MW of wind energy capacities by 2030. However, the country has yet to exploit this potential as no wind projects have been realised to date.
Albania wants to reduce its dependence on electricity generated at hydro power plants as this presents a problem during periods of drought. The country has already held successful solar auctions, while solar projects without subsidies are also under development.
Favourable prices achieved during the last two solar tenders – both under EUR 30/MWh – “show that now is the time to invest in wind capacity in order to reduce the costs of energy imports,” said Balluku.
Albania’s prime minister, Edi Rama, added that this would help the country to achieve its goal of becoming a net exporter of green electricity by 2030.