The first 1 MW remote solar farm was opened near Elektrėnai, in Lithuania, which will generate electricity for almost 300 households.
The Baltic country became one of the first in Europe to create opportunities for every resident and household to use renewable electricity, a system has been created where electricity from renewable energy sources can be produced in one place and used in another.
“This remote solar farm near Elektrėnai is starting a new energy era in Lithuania, which will be accompanied by a new wave of household use of solar electricity,” says the Minister of Energy, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. “The Ministry of Energy has been consistently developing a system which now allows everyone to produce green electricity for their own needs. Together, we have created opportunities for Lithuanian renewable energy companies, and developers are currently working on solar farms like this near Utena, Šiauliai and Lazdijai.”
In the Ministry’s view, the possibility of becoming electricity prosumers who can produce and consume energy in different places is especially relevant for people who live in blocks of flats. These consumers can purchase or rent part of a solar power plant at a solar farm or build their own power plant anywhere in Lithuania, and use the energy produced there in another place, for example, produce electricity at a homestead in Alytus District and use it in a flat in Vilnius.
The government has also recently developed financial incentives that accelerate people’s return on investment in solar power plants. In July and October of this year, two calls for European Union financial assistance for solar power plants will be announced, both for installation in individual homes and for purchasing remote solar power plants at solar farms and approximately 20 million euros have been set aside for this.
In order to encourage businesses and households to become prosumers and self-supply green electricity, all procedures have been simplified and streamlined. Prosumers can currently install power plants using renewable energy sources with a capacity of up to 500 kilowatts (kW). Building power plants with a capacity of less than 30 kW require almost no permits and the process takes up to three weeks, compared to a year ago when it took up to six months. The only condition is that the installed capacity of the power plant cannot exceed the capacity permitted to be used at the user’s site.
Other than generating electricity for almost 300 households, the 1 MW solar power plant installed by electric power generation company Ignitis Gamyba will help save more than 450 thousand trees and CO2 emissions will be reduced by almost 19 tonnes.