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News / EU and EBRD to support transition to solar energy in North Macedonia
Decarbonisation plans in North Macedonia are taking a big leap forward. The European Union is supporting Elektrana na Severna Makedonija (ESM), the state-owned electricity company, to implement a 30 MW photovoltaic (PV) project consisting of 10 MW on a portion of the exhausted coal mine of the Oslomej thermal power plant, and 20 MW adjacent to the Bitola thermal power plant. The EU will provide a €5 million grant funded through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is lending €25 million to complement this development.
Ambassador David Geer, Head of the EU Delegation to North Macedonia said, “We are seeing concrete actions in materialising the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans and in turning the Economic and Investment Plan into reality. The WBIF investment grant and the EBRD Loan, supporting the transformation of Oslomej and Bitola power plants from coal-based to solar energy, represent a clear indication that the country is taking the right steps – moving to green energy, while implementing a socially just transition process. This investment was long overdue, and comes at the right time for North Macedonia, ensuring clean and secure energy supplies.”
The new solar plants are an extension of the first 10 MW PV plant constructed on the exhausted coal mines in Oslomej and are evidence of the decarbonisation pathway of ESM and of the country. Once operational, the new facilities will produce nearly 48 GWh of electricity a year – enough to power 10,000 homes and replace 44,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project will also support ESM’s efforts to regenerate the mine sites that used to supply the thermal power plants with coal.
Photo credits: WBIF
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