MVM, MOL announce big solar power investments

Green Energy

The state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) on Wednesday laid the cornerstone of a HUF 9 billion solar farm at Felsőzsolca (near Miskolc, northeast Hungary), said to be Hungaryʼs biggest. Meanwhile, oil and gas company MOL revealed that it will spend "several billion forints" to build three solar parks by yearʼs end.

The solar farm at Felsőzsolca will be capable of generating 20.7 GWh of electricity a year, with European Union funding to cover 35% of the investment costs, reported online news site origo.hu.

The solar power plant, covering an area of almost 44 hectares on the border of Felsőzsolca and Onga, is being built within the framework of the EUʼs Environmental and Energy Efficiency Operational Program. Plans call for the facility to begin operation in the summer of 2018 at the earliest.

"The energy investment in Felsőzsolca is a significant step in the domestic production of renewable electrical energy, while also contributing to reducing Hungaryʼs imports of energy sources," said Andrea Beatrix Kádár, deputy state secretary for energy affairs at the Ministry of National Development, at the cornerstone-laying ceremony on February 28. "Thanks to its operation, the countryʼs emissions of carbon dioxide may decrease by more than 20,000 tonnes annually," she added.

"The MVM Group will be the clear market leader in the area of power plants that exploit renewable energy sources," stated MVM CEO János Zsuga. "Our company group will build 110 solar power plants within one year countrywide, covering the annual electrical energy needs of some 50,000 households. Thanks to the current investments, the MVM Group will have renewable capacity of more than 150 MW."

Although solar plants can largely be operated remotely, notes origo.hu, implementation of the investment is still expected to create a significant number of jobs, as well as long-term, secure revenues for the local council from rent of the site hosting the plant.

MOL to build three solar parks

In related news, state news wire MTI cited Sándor Fasimon, COO of oil and gas company MOL Hungary, as saying that the company will spend "several billion forints" to build three solar parks on a combined area of 37 hectares.

Construction of the parks, in Tiszaújváros (NE Hungary), Százhalombatta (central Hungary) and Füzesgyarmat (SE Hungary), will start in March and wind up by yearʼs end, Fasimon said.

MOL is covering the cost of the parks from its own resources and expects to recoup the investment thanks to feed-in tariffs, he added.

The green energy generated by the solar parks is expected to replace some 9,000 tonnes of annual carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report by business news portal vg.hu. The completed solar plants will have a combined planned capacity of a total 18.38 MWp, supplying more than 9,000 households with electrical energy.

"When MOL created its 2030 strategy, we committed ourselves to innovative and alternative technologies," Fasimon was quoted as saying. "We have stepped onto a path of development that may prove the basis for further investments. With the solar parks now being built, MOL is also contributing to the fulfillment of Hungaryʼs undertakings with respect to renewable energy."

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