PGE To Close Coal Plant & Install PV

PGE To Close Bełchatów Coal Plant By 2036 As Part Of Regional Just Transition Plan To Attract EU Funding And Install Solar

PGE To Close Coal Plant & Install PV

With Bełchatów plant all set to close by 2036, and the Bełchatów and Szczerców deposits extraction to end by 2026 and 2038 respectively, Polish PGE Group plans investments in low- and zero-carbon energy sources, including 700 MW of solar and wind capacity. (Photo Credit: Zhengzaishuru/ Shutterstock.com)

  • Marshall of Łódzkie Voivodship publishes Territorial Just Transition Plan (TJTP) to turn off energy generation units Bełchatów plant and the lignite mining in the Bełchatów region
  • The energy units at the Bełchatów plant will shut down in a phased manner between 2030 & 2036
  • The extraction at the Bełchatów and Szczerców deposits will finish by 2026 and 2038, respectively
  • As mining coal from Złoczew deposit is proving to be unprofitable, Łódzkie Voivodship has decided not to mine there and has added it to the transition area
  • PGE wants to install 700 MW of solar and wind capacity in the region plus energy storage projects

A Polish State Utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) report states that the Marshall of Łódzkie Voivodship has published a Territorial Just Transition Plan (TJTP) to turn off energy generation units Bełchatów plant and the lignite mining in the Bełchatów region. PGE wants to install solar and wind farms and energy storage projects in the region.

As per TJTP, the energy units at the Bełchatów plant will shut down in a phased manner by 2036: 2030 – 1 unit; 2031 – 1 unit; 2032 – 2 units; 2033 – 2 units; 2034 – 3 units; 2035 – 2 units; and 2036 – 1 unit. The Plan for ending lignite mining showed that the extraction at the Bełchatów and Szczerców deposits will finish by 2026 and 2038, respectively. As mining coal from Złoczew deposit is proving to be unprofitable, Łódzkie Voivodship has decided not to mine there and has added it to the transition area.

Now, the Łódzkie Voivodship has to receive support from the EU’s Just Transition Fund in order to be able to implement the TJTP decisions. The TJTP is a mandatory requirement in the process of seeking EU funding for the region.

Speaking about the development, CEO of PGE  Wojciech Dąbrowski said, “We very much want the Łódzkie Voivodship to be able to access EU funding for just transition. Setting the dates for shutting down the energy units at the plant in Bełchatów and ending extraction at the lignite deposits Bełchatów and Szczerców and thus also withdrawing from the plan to mine the Złoczew deposit are of fundamental significance from the viewpoint of planning the future of the Bełchatów energy complex, its employees and the region’s residents. They are also symbolic because the success of Polish energy transition will largely depend on the outcome of this project.”

Adding to this, Marshall of the Łódzkie Voivodship Grzegorz Schreiber said, “The Bełchatów energy complex today is the largest employer in the transition area within the Łódzkie Voivodship which is why it is so important for us to appropriately plan its future in a way that makes it possible to minimise the negative socio-economic effects of phasing out activities in the mining and energy sector.”

PGE Group will spend about PLN 5 billion ($1.36 billion) on investments in the first stage of transition in the Bełchatów region. The Group has also submitted a range of projects to the TJTP, which includes establishment of a technological centre for renewables on the basis of the existing support companies, which will be transitioning into renewables projects, along with an expansion of the aggregate and limestone business line. Other projects submitted by the Group are:

  • Wind farm projects with a capacity of nearly 100 MW
  • PV farms with a capacity of about 600 MW
  • Energy storage system with a capacity of up to 300 MW
  • Low- and zero-carbon energy sources

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