Pärnu solar power developer awaiting state subsidy

One of Metsagrupp's Pärnu County solar panel parks.
One of Metsagrupp's Pärnu County solar panel parks. Source: ERR

A Pärnu solar power firm should qualify for a renewable energy state subsidy, despite the scheme expiring at year-end, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday night.

The company, Metsagrupp, has around 50 solar panel parks with a capacity of up to 50 kW, AK reported, making it one of the largest firms of its kind in the region.

A 2018 legal amend extended support to smaller solar panel and other renewable power generators with a capacity of up to 50 kW, though Mestagrupp met with some issues surrounding planning, AK reported.

The firm used real estate which hit owned, but which had not been registered for the correct land use, jeopardizing the subsidy.

Urmas Rahnel, CEO of Mestagrupp, said that: "Yes, we have four solar panel parks here; each park is rated at 50 kW. It was a suitable location. The size of a park depends somewhat on connection points, i.e. where you can connect to the electricity grid. The right conditions for four 50 kW sites were in place. For the most part, we operate smaller facilities, i.e. no more than 50 kW."

Rahnel added that the facilities were ready for business, and that the development had been logical given the option of state subsidies. While some of the company's solar parks are rated at 40 kW, others exceed the 50 kW level.

Investment in the sector is still viable even after this year, after which the subsidy scheme ends, Rahnel went on, meaning that Mestagrupp – which took a €3.5-million loan from SEB for the purpose – will likely continue in the field.

While at 58 degrees north, Pärnu may not seem like the most obvious choice for a solar panel park, state-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia says that the long periods of daylight in the summer months in Estonia make it a viable energy source, at least for private households.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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