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ORLEN completes one of Poland’s largest solar farms

The ORLEN Group has completed the construction of a 62 megawatts (MW) solar farm, located in the north of Poland (Wielbark, Province of Olsztyn). The newly completed project is among the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) farms in the country. It will operate at full capacity starting from the first quarter of 2023, generating clean energy for more than 30,000 households. 

“We are completing another project undertaken to eventually end our dependence on fossil fuels and produce green energy. Solar PV technology, alongside wind power and SMRs, is a key pillar of our strategic development vision and a way of bolstering the country’s energy security,” said the CEO of PKN ORLEN, Daniel Obajtek. “The project in Wielbark has brought the ORLEN Group’s total installed capacity in solar sources close to 100 MW. On the back of consistent investments, we have made in recent years, in the second quarter of 2022 alone almost 60 per cent of the 2.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) of the ORLEN Group’s total energy output came from low- and zero-carbon sources.”

The full capacity of the Wielbark solar farm will come onstream once additional substations are developed to support grid connection capability and enable safe power evacuation. Currently, commercial production at the farm is being carried out from 12 MW panels connected to the grid at an earlier stage of the project.

The solar farm comprises an array of around 140,000 solar PV panels with a unit capacity of up to 530 watts (W), supported by 337 inverters. In order to construct the farm, the project owner needed to secure 56 permits and use nearly 2,500 tonnes of steel. The farm was built over an area of 119 hectares, mostly low-grade agricultural land. The project owner is Energa Wytwarzanie, a subsidiary of Energa, part of the ORLEN Group.

According to the ORLEN Group’s press release, the Group’s 2030 strategy is to “steadily” expand its low and zero-carbon generation sources. By the end of the decade, the Group expects to have more than 2.5 gigawatts (GW) in installed renewable capacity, of which about 0.7 GW is already in its portfolio. The largest project currently in the pipeline is Baltic Power, an offshore wind farm with a capacity of up to 1.2 GW, which will be capable of powering more than 1.5 million households from 2026 onwards. 

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