The Kovačica wind farm, after almost three decades, is the first brand new power plant to be connected to the Serbian grid. The development and construction of the project took less than seven years. VE Kovačica has all the licenses and works at full capacity
, and will be inaugurated on September 19, 2019.
Miloš Colić, director of New Energy Solutions, which designed and developed the project, managed the construction, and was entrusted with the job of managing and maintaining part of the power plant, explains how windy the road to a successful project in Serbia is.
– The choice of location with suitable wind, infrastructure and minimal environmental impact is the crucial moment. After obtaining the permit for setting up the wind measuring pole starts the procedure of development of planning documentation and obtaining various permits, conditions and approvals. There are certainly over a hundred of them. Laws were changing during the development of the project, so everything had to be harmonized. In addition to the license race, the race with the competition was running in parallel, as it was necessary to enter the 500 MW quota for which the State had set incentive measures. When you enter that circle, then you are interesting to banks as lenders, who want perfect bankable documentation. The construction of a wind farm is a particular challenge because there was not one in Serbia until two years ago. Then comes another wave of documentation crowning the project: operating permits, licenses, final status – Colić told Nedeljnik.
He believes that the future of renewable energy in Serbia is inevitable.
– We are witnessing climate change and global warming that require responsible environmental behavior and a greater share of green energy in production and consumption. Serbia has the potential and needs to harness it. I am sure that renewables will be mainstream in Serbian and regional energy. Although the current Law on Energy covered renewables well, the matter would be completely regulated by a separate law. Such a move would certainly be welcomed by the EU. Also, I believe that all of us who have done something in this area are now mature to form a quality professional association – says Colić.
The project was funded by the EBRD and Erste Bank.