Global renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. announced that it has begun construction on the Witnica solar park, which will be by far the largest solar power plant in Poland. The 64.6 megawatts peak (MWp) project, located close to the German border between Poznan and Berlin, is due for completion by the end of 2020 and it’s being built without any government subsidies.
The electricity generated will be sold locally to an industrial client via a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). BayWa r.e. is already in advanced discussions to secure the PPA according to the company’s announcement.
“Poland is experiencing huge demand for green energy, particularly from commerce and industry, despite the widespread lack of availability in a country that still generates 80 per cent of its electricity from coal,” explained Dr Benedikt Ortmann, Global Director of Solar Projects at BayWa r.e. Therefore, he considers it big step to commence the constructions of the country’s first large-scale solar park, without any subsidies.
BayWa r.e. has already completed similar projects in Spain and Germany without subsidies and as grid parity of solar power is constantly advancing, the company believes that now the Polish market also reached a point where photovoltaic energy is marketable.
“We have been serving the Polish market for several years and are delighted that this work is now paying off,” said Matthias Emminghaus, who is responsible for the Polish region at BayWa r.e. Solar Projects.
Speaking about the huge potential for wind and solar energy in Poland, Mr Emminghaus revealed that the company is already planning to build an additional 50 MWp solar park next year and that its solar project pipeline currently amounts to around 600 MWp. Over the next five years, BayWa r.e. has set the goal of constructing solar and wind projects in Poland with an output of more than 1 gigawatt (GW).
Power from renewable energy sources in Poland has already exceeded 10 GW, with the solar energy sector being the fastest-growing RES segment.
Decreasing costs of renewable energy and the increasing costs of energy generated from conventional sources have drawn attention to electricity Power Purchase Agreements in Poland as well, although they are still a novelty in the solar sector. The first agreement has been concluded by Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) last year for a 5 megawatts (MW) solar plant that will supply electricity to two chemicals company starting from 2022.
At the end of May Poland’s installed PV capacity reached 1.83 GW. However, the sector is anticipated to experience rapid development in the upcoming years due to favourable government policies and increased investments. According to a report of the Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej (IEO), Poland could reach its target of 7.8 GW of solar capacity– as outlined in the National Plan for Energy and Climate – by the middle of the decade.