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Enefit Green builds 3MW solar panel park on mining spoil heap

Solar panels in the snow (photo is illustrative).
Solar panels in the snow (photo is illustrative). Source: ERR

State-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia's green energy subsidiary, Enefit Green, has opened a solar energy park in Ida-Viru County.

The park is rated at 3 MW and cost Enefit €2.7 million to construct. As reported by ERR News, work on the project started back in August.

It has been erected on an oil shale mining tailings heap of almost 30 meters in height, and its 9,000 solar panels in fact provide energy to the nearby Estonia mine, operated by sister subsidiary Enefit Power.

Elise Johanna Lill, renewables project manager at Enefit Green, said of the development that it is "built on a South-facing slope, minimizing losses caused by the shade."

This means that the panels will not be obscured by shade, even when the sun is low, she added.

"Since it is on a slope, there is more space, and the distances between the rows [of panels] are also larger. This makes this solar park is also much more efficient than many other conventional solar panel installations," she went on.

While solar energy might at first glance seem counter-intuitive for a country lying at 59 degrees North, the lengthy summer days make up for the rest of the year; solar panels have even been installed as far north as Norway's Svalbard archipelago.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming.

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Jüri Nikolajev.

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