Largest PV Park in Romania and South-Eastern Europe Inaugurated

At the end of October 2023, the Israeli companies Nofar Energy and Econergy officially inaugurated the largest photovoltaic park in Romania and South-East Europe.

The event took place in Ratesti, Arges County, where the largest photovoltaic park in South-East Europe was officially inaugurated and will be connected soon to the grid after its testing phase, the commissioning being planned for November.

The PV Park at Ratesti is a joint venture between Econergy Renewable Energy and Nofar Energy.

According to the developers, the total value of the investment amounted to EUR 102 million, the largest ever in the national PV sector. The investment did not benefit from any kind of state subsidy during the construction period and will not benefit from any during the operation period, as the green certificate support scheme, which is paid for by all energy consumers, does not apply.

With an area of 170 hectares, the Ratesti PV park has a total installed capacity of 155 MW and is expected to produce around 220 GWh of electricity annually. Turkey-based INTEC Energy Solutions and China’s Chint Solar acted as engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors for the project.

The renewable energy production unit can supply more than 100,000 households, which means eliminating 168,000 tonnes of CO2, thus contributing to Romania’s decarbonisation target of providing more than 30% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.

“Today we celebrate an important moment in the development of solar energy in our country. This impressively sized photovoltaic park not only helps us meet today’s energy challenges, but also opens doors to a more sustainable and brighter future. The benefits of this inauguration are numerous and have a significant impact on Romania,” said Marius Negru, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Energy, at the inauguration event.

“We have carried out studies estimating that by 2030 we will have around 45,000 colleagues in the PV industry alone, separately from what the wind sector’s contribution may be. This is an average scenario in which we see 45,000 permanent employees in the PV sector, which from our point of view is a very important aspect; we are working on this with various partners,” noted Andrei Manea, Executive Director, the Romanian Photovoltaic Industry Association (RPIA).

Representatives of the companies that carried out the investment also spoke about the Ratesti PV project and the prospects for renewable energy.

“The Ratesti park is Econergy’s first PV park to be connected in Romania and is part of a portfolio of 2.3 GW capacity under development, of which 410 MW are under construction across the country, ensuring energy independence and decarbonisation of the energy sector. The Romanian market is a key market in South-East Europe, which is striving to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets,” mentioned Bogdan Asanache, Country Manager at Econergy Balkan.

“In the last two years we have completed the construction of the largest photovoltaic park not only in Romania, but in South-East Europe. It is the beginning of a new era in the energy sector in Romania,” said Favi Stelian, Managing Partner of Nofar Romania. “The Ratesti project marks an important step towards clean and sustainable energy and makes an important contribution to achieving Romania’s decarbonisation targets by 2030. We see Romania as one of the key growth markets, with a target of 1GW of solar energy by 2025,” Favi Stelian added.

The Ratesti photovoltaic park was inaugurated during the first edition of Solar Open Day, organised by RPIA. The event was aimed at raising awareness about solar energy and advocating for sustainable energy sources and production methods.

Econergy and Nofar acquired the photovoltaic park from Portland Trust, a commercial real estate developer and asset manager with offices in Prague and Bucharest.

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