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Ignitis Renewables begins work on its solar portfolio in Latvia

Ignitis Renewables, a leading international green energy company operating in the Baltic states and Poland, has made the final investment decision on its 239 megawatts (MW) solar portfolio in Latvia, the largest of its kind in the Baltic states, with construction works to commence in the first quarter of this year. This decision marks a significant milestone in the region’s journey towards decarbonisation and energy security and reaffirms Ignitis Renewables’ commitment to creating a green and secure energy ecosystem.

“Latvia is a part of our home market, where Ignitis Renewables is actively expanding its activities and sees great growth opportunities,” stated Thierry Aelens, CEO at Ignitis Renewables. “A third of our total project pipeline is in Latvia. The decision to move forward with construction marks an important step in our expansion within the Baltic states and its broader strategy for green energy development.”

“This investment decision aligns perfectly with our mission to expand our green generation segment,” he added. “These projects in Latvia are pivotal for our progress towards our goal to install 4–5 gigawatts (GW) of green generation capacities by 2030.”

This portfolio comprises three separate solar power plants in Latvia, a 94 MW Vārme solar project and a 145 MW Stelpe solar project, consisting of two stand-alone developments. In total, the installed capacity of the planned solar parks should reach up to 239 MW. This will be enough to cover the electricity demand of around 100,000 households in Latvia per year. With grid capacity fully secured for these installations, the projects are poised to significantly bolster renewable energy production in the region.

The Vārme solar power plant will be in Vārme parish, Kuldīgas county, while the Stelpe power plants will be in Barbele and Stelpe parishes, Bauskas county. The construction of the solar power plants is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2024, with completion and commercial operation scheduled for 2025. Additionally, wind hybridisation options have been identified for all solar power plants, aiming to utilise the same grid connection points.

The total investment for this ambitious initiative is estimated at up to 178 million euros encompassing both construction and project acquisition costs.

Sustainable and close cooperation with communities that are located near the renewable energy projects in operation, under construction and under development is at the core of the company’s approach. At the same time, Ignitis Renewables is pioneering a unique environmental protection initiative in their Vārme and Stelpe solar park projects, a first in Latvia. This initiative aims to not only safeguard local species but also enhance their habitat in areas surrounding the planned projects. Measures include installing hunting perches for predatory birds and creating safe passages for larger animals with ramps and special gates at the solar power plants.

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