Energy company Ignitis Renewables has started the construction of a solar power plant in Tauragė district in Lithuania, near an operating wind farm. This will be the company’s first wind and solar hybrid power plant, which will enable a more effective utilisation of the land and infrastructure.
“Our wind farm has been successfully operating in the Tauragė district for over 10 years and we are currently installing a solar power plant nearby,” said Giedrius Meškelė, Head of Renewable Energy, Lithuania at Ignitis Renewables. “This will be the first wind and solar hybrid power plant that Ignitis Renewables has built. It will undoubtedly contribute to our and Ignitis Group’s goal to increase our green generation capacity.”
He added that, by installing and operating the solar power plant, the entire territory and infrastructure will be utilised more effectively. By combining wind and solar power (and with storage technologies on the horizon) hybrid power plants prove to be more economical because the assets may share the infrastructure like roads and, in some cases, internal electricity networks and substations.
Mr Meškelė also noted that environmental factors were at the forefront throughout the project’s development. The construction is followed by unique research, which will provide some insight into what impact the solar power plant installation has on nature and biodiversity. Specialists will monitor changes in flora and fauna at the power plant for three years and later they will plan environmental initiatives in order to establish good practices.
The capacity of the power plant under construction in a 32-ha territory will reach 22 megawatts (MW). Alone, it will power around 13,000 homes. Together with the 25 MW wind farm, they will power around 40,000 households in Lithuania.
The current construction plans include installing solar panels and their mounting structures and laying underground cables. The solar power plant should start operating in 2024.