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Conexus to build a solar park at the Inčukalns underground gas storage

Latvia’s natural gas transmission and storage operator Conexus Baltic Grid has concluded a contract with Derex, an expert in electrical engineering and telecommunication network construction, to build a solar park in the territory of the Inčukalns underground gas storage (UGS) facility. The project is planned to be completed by spring next year with an investment of 989,000 euros.

The work will involve the installation of more than 16,000 square metres of solar panels with a total capacity of up to 1 megawatt (MW) on the Inčukalns UGS site. The use of solar energy is expected to generate around one million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and is currently forecast to provide 25 per cent of the total electricity consumption in the reservoir.

The minimum construction design has now been finalised and the permit for the construction of the solar park has been obtained from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The technical regulations have also been received from power distribution system operator Sadales tīkls and the construction works in the area of the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility will start soon.

“Energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, where technically feasible in the maintenance of Conexus infrastructure is one of the ways in which we can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Uldis Bariss, Chairman of the Board of Conexus. “Conexus’ operations use the most important energy resources to support its processes at the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility, so the construction of the solar park will not only optimize electricity costs but will also reduce the overall environmental impact. It is estimated that the installed solar park will reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by up to 300 tonnes per year.”

He added that Conexus is not only working to make the maintenance of Inčukalns UGS technologically safer and more sustainable but also to modernise the storage facilities to reduce the overall environmental and climate impact. In the long term, significant improvements are being made to the technological facilities as part of the storage modernization projects, reducing energy consumption for the technological processes of the storage facility as well as the environmental impact, for example by reducing the consumption of fuel gas per unit of natural gas pumped.

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