Largest Slovenian energy company Petrol and its partners were awarded for a common project, which is an important step towards wider use of renewable energy sources and a long-term reduction of energy costs.
At the 22nd Energy Days conference, which took place on 23 and 24 November, Petrol received the Best Energy Efficiency Project Award for a project that created the first energy self-sufficient community in Slovenia: the idyllic village of Luče.
Luče is located in the pre-Alpine region of Slovenia, under the Raduho Mountain and the Dleskovška Plateau, along the Savinja River. The place is famous for its excellent cuisine, the ethnologically entertaining traditional event Luče Day and the inherent wilderness of the Snow Cave. Luče has been named the most beautiful place in Slovenia on several occasions and now it is the first energy self-sufficient community in the country.
The 22nd Energy Days conference brings together energy managers and experts from Slovenian companies, research institutions and all those operating under the principle of efficient energy use. This year the Luče Energy Community COMPILE project was a dual victory: it was chosen as the winner by the experts as well as the readers of Finance, who could cast their votes via the website.
“We are proud that Luče is the first energy self-sufficient community in Slovenia and one of the few such communities in Europe,” said Aleš Zupančič, Executive Director of Energy Products and Energy Management at Petrol.
“The key to the success of the project and the winning of this award is our continued partnership with Elektro Celje and the Laboratory of Energy Policy at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana,” he continued. “The latter acted as the project coordinator, while Elektro Celje participated as the operator of the transmission system. Petrol ensured the network’s technical integration and we have reached the point where we can manage the energy ‘micro’ community in Luče in a comprehensive manner.”
Luče is the first community that is able to meet its electricity needs on its own, moreover, exclusively from renewable energy production, which was established as part of the COMPILE project within EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
“We all want the greatest possible comfort and energy communities, as the one in Luče, undoubtedly offer that,” concluded Mr Zupančič.
Petrol has further plans to establish more of these kinds of projects in Slovenia and also in the broader region because enabling people to participate in the provision and management of flexibility services will also lead to a long-term reduction of energy costs. By supporting energy communities, the company wants to give as many people as possible the opportunity to invest in renewable energy sources and sustainable energy supply.