Eesti Energia renewables subsidiary Enefit Green is building 7 MW capacity of solar power plants across Estonia over the next year, the company has announced, investing €5 million on solar energy development in the process.
Enefit Green CEO Aavo Kärmas has stated the company's goal of increasing renewable energy output.
"Solar energy has rapidly expanded in recent years and has become more competitive,'' said Mr. Kärmas, in a press release.
''Currently there are over 1,300 solar power stations over the Estonian power grid, helping to cover their owners' electricity needs," he continued.
Mr. Kärmas added the company's longer-term aim is an additional 50 MW of solar panels by 2022, thus obtaining 40% of its generated electricity from renewable and alternative sources.
"We will certainly continue to invest in the production of solar energy and we see the whole Baltic region as our potential markets, since Eesti Energia is already operating as an energy seller there," Mr Kärmas said.
Variety of sites
The proposed solar energy stations will make use of land owned by Eesti Energia, as well as being placed adjacent to Enefit Green power plants and customers' properties, including over 20 business customers. One site is at Paldiski, close to Eesti Energia's wind farm. Another site at Laaskõrve, Ida-Viru County, is on former mining territory formerly, and sites adjacent to Iru and Paide power plants are planned too.
The new solar plants will commence electricity production by year end, annually producing c. 6,500 MWh of renewable electricity, sufficient for a year's supply of 2,000 average households, with investments close to €5 million, the company says.
Northern European nations which generate significant amounts of solar energy include Germany and the UK. In some countries solar power is already cheaper, measure-for-measure, than ordinary fossil fuel-generated electricity.
Enefit Green/Eesti Energia acquired renewables firm Nelja Energia in the summer.
Editor: Andrew Whyte