Albania’s largest electricity generation company Korporata Elektroenergjitike Shqiptare (KESH) has secured a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to develop a 12.9 MW floating solar photovoltaic farm.
KESH will use the €9.1 million ($10.9 million) loan to build the floating solar farm on the Vau i Dejës hydropower plant reservoir.
The farm will be the first floating solar plant of this size in Albania and the Western Balkans, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The project is in line with a goal set by the government of Albania to expand its renewable energy assets to reduce carbon emissions and to provide consumers with clean and affordable energy.
However, due to the scarcity of land in Albania, floating energy projects provide an environmentally-friendly solution for the country to tap its solar energy potential.
Francesco Corbo, EBRD regional head of energy for the West Balkans, said the project: “is another major step in Albania’s successful drive to boost solar capacity and improve its energy mix”.
“The project is remarkable because of its innovative technology, positive environmental impact and commercial logic. It also has the potential to be replicated in the broader Western Balkans region, which has many hydropower reservoirs. This is our first opportunity to finance floating solar PV technology and we look forward to many similar projects in the future.”
KESH chief executive Besjan Kadiu said the project “is of special importance. It positions the company as a contributor to Albanian and global initiatives to invest in renewable generation using innovative photovoltaic technology that is compatible with hydropower generation.
“Although modest in size, the project holds opportunities not only for the further development of public generation assets on a strong commercial, technical and environmental basis, but also showcases the know-how that is required to operate a hybrid hydro-photovoltaic system.”