• Voltalia has won the Albania tender for 140 MW solar power capacity, said the EBRD
  • It offered less than half the ceiling tariff of €55 per MWh bringing it down to €24.89 per MWh to win the auction
  • EBRD says this is the lowest price of power in the Balkans which was determined despite the pandemic related challenges
  • Power generated will be sold to OSHEE and also in the open market once the project comes online

French renewable energy player Voltalia has been chosen by Albania to build a 140 MW solar power plant as part of the country’s ‘first solar tender’. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said the company was adjudged the winner for offering the lowest winning bid of €24.89 ($27.43) per MWh. Tariffs were capped for this capacity at €55 per MWh which means the winning tariff is less than half the ceiling tariff.

EBRD says this is the lowest price of power in the Balkans. Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku announced the winning bid on television ‘after the tender went ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic’ for the tender launched in January 2020 by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy.

Reuters says 15 bidders took a tour of the site on March 2, 2020 of which 5 bidders met the final technical criteria. The online tender was conducted on May 8, 2020 for the €100 million ($110 million) project.

The 140 MW project will come up at the Albanian coastal site of Karavasta. Power generated by the project will be divided equally to be purchased by Albanian state energy distribution company OSHEE for a period of 15 years while the other part wil be sold into the market.

For Albania, this auction means having a dependable and clean power supply which comes in handy as its largest source of electricity hydropower is dependent on ample rain to ensure enough power supply. Moreover, it reduces reliance on imported electricity.

“The Albanian government had courage to continue and were rewarded by the lowest price of power in the Balkans,” said EBRD Director and Head of Energy EMEA, Harry Boyd-Carpenter. “This shows the power of markets. If you run a well-structured tender then the private sector can deliver public goods in fantastically competitive and imaginative ways.”

For Voltalia, this expansion into the Albanian market is aligned with the company strategy to diversify its markets beyond Brazil and France. Aiming to double its installed capacity to over 1 GW by 2020 and add another 1.6 GW of renewables in operation or under construction by 2023 Voltalia said it will continue to invest in renewable energy projects in EBRD regions.