International player in renewable energies Voltalia has been awarded a new 100-megawatt (MW) solar project in Albania, the second project won by the company in the country in less than a year.
This 100-MW project, called Spitalla, was won after a tender launched by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy last November. Voltalia has been awarded a 30-year concession contract on a 121-hectare site in the region of Durrës, on the Adriatic coast, some 30 kilometres from Tirana, capital of the country.
The project will benefit from the region’s very great potential for solar radiation. Out of the 100 MW, 70 per cent will be sold through a 15-year power sale contract with FTL, a state-owned operator. The remaining 30 per cent will be sold through another long-term power sale contract negotiated with a private operator.
The Spitalla plant will be commissioned in 2023. Voltalia will be responsible for the development, construction and maintenance of the project.
“We are very pleased to have won this new project which perfectly illustrates the synergies generated by our integrated model,” said Sébastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia. “Already present in the country since 2018 through our activity of construction and maintenance of solar power plants for third-party customers, we have been able to develop an excellent knowledge of the country and its energy challenges. Albania benefits from exceptional sunshine that allows for high yields of solar assets.”
This is the second photovoltaic tender launched by Albania in less than a year. As Albania’s energy currently comes almost entirely from hydropower, when there is no rain the country must import electricity, leaving it exposed to climate change.
“Albania has great potential in solar,” commented Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Head of Office in Albania last year, referring to the first tender, the Karavasta’s 140-MW solar project won by Voltalia in May 2020. “This first project will diversify the country’s energy sources, increase its resilience to climate change and bring in much needed foreign investment.”
The Karavasta and the Spitalla plants are located a few tens of kilometres away from each other and, with a coordinated implementation calendar, will benefit from significant synergies during construction as well as throughout the operating period.