The solar park will be built in Serbia on land which the country will lease free of charge for a period of 25 years.
Oliver Dulic, Serbia’s Minister of the Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning, Alessio Colussi and Ivan Matejak from Securum Equity Partners, signed the agreement at the Serbian government building in the presence of the Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic.
The park will have a total capacity of over 1,000 MW and will cover an area of 3,000 hectares. It will take between three and five years to build and provide jobs for 2,500 to 3,000 people during its construction with permanent jobs for 500 to 600 workers once it is operational. Another 1,000 jobs will be created when MX Group, which is one of Europe’s leading solar panel manufacturers, moves production to Serbia along with its various subsidiaries. The cost of the project is estimated at around 2 billion Euros. Serbia is likely to collect around 750 million Euros in taxes from the project over the next twenty years.
Construction of the project could commence as early as next year depending on the location of an available site and completion of the various permits involved.. The Serbian government has pledged its support on the basis that the project will employ Serbian workers and introduce new technology into the country. At present the intention is to import the solar panels from abroad although the long term hope is that eventually production will be moved to Serbia itself.
Serbia was chosen because its available amount of sunshine exceeds that of other European countries by around 40 percent but also because there are substantial water resources nearby along with availability of land that is not suitable for agricultural production. Serbia is currently recognised as an area of high socio-political stability with a predicted economic growth rate over the next five years that is substantially higher than any other country in the EU.
Serbia has invested heavily in the renewable energy sector over recent years, particularly in the overhaul of existing infrastructure in order to improve the stability of its energy supply.
Sources:east Media Group (EMG);