The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that France-based Voltalia has won a tender to build a 140 MW solar array in Albania at a very competitive price.

The winning bid was announced in a televised event by Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku. It follows three years of extensive preparation for EBRD to enter the solar market.

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Under the agreement, Voltalia will build and operate a 140 MW solar plant at the Albanian coastal site of Karavasta, selling half of the produced electricity to the Albanian state for €24.89 per MWh [US $27.57 per MWh], with the remaining half sold in the market.

Albania’s energy currently comes almost entirely from hydropower however, when there is no rain the country must import electricity. “This first solar project will diversify the country’s energy sources, increase its resilience to climate change, and bring in much needed foreign investment,” said Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Head of Office in Albania.

“The Albanian government had courage to continue and were rewarded by the lowest price of power in the Balkans,” said Harry Boyd-Carpenter, the EBRD’s Director, Head of Energy EMEA. “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.”

Voltalia produces renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass and is involved in storage. The company aims to double its installed capacity to over 1 GW by 2020 and intends to add another 1.6 GW of renewable assets in operation or under construction by 2030.

Originally published on renewableenergyworld.com

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