• North Macedonia has launched a tender for two solar power projects with 100 MW to be established in the country’s Oslomej region
  • The solar power capacity will be built at an old coal mine site for an investment of €80 million
  • Selected bidder will finance and construct the projects under a 35-year contract post which these will be transferred to the ESM

North Macedonia is seeking private sector investors to establish two solar power PV power plants at the site of an old coal mine in Oslomej with a combined capacity of 100 MW, a step that is being applauded by the European Union (EU).

Energy Community, an EU energy watch dog, said the country’s efforts to replace an ageing coal mine with solar power is an excellent example of “how coal regions can be profitably transformed, providing new employment opportunities for former coal workers and driving sustainable regional development,” said Director of Energy Community Secretariat, Janez Kopac.

The 100 MW capacity will be set up for an investment of €80 million ($86 million) and in partnership with state utility Elektrani na Serverna Makedonija (ESM). Contracted company will carry out the tasks of design, construction, financing, management and transmission of the two PV projects under a 35-year contract.

The winner will be selected based on highest percentage of income from the electricity sold on the free market. Post the contract period, ownership will be transferred to ESM.

According to the tender announcement, the last date for bid submission is May 8, 2020; the same day the bids will be opened.

The Energy Community said this tender is part of the government’s efforts to boost renewables and fight air pollution.

In December 2019, Girisim Electrik was selected by ESM to build a 10 MW solar power plant also in Oslomej at a site that was previously used for lignite mining. In September 2019, the Ministry of Economy received 82 bids from local and international players for a 35 MW solar PV tender (see 82 Bids For North Macedonia Solar Tender).