Mass Zagreb Solar Panel Installation to Reduce Costs by 80%

Lauren Simmonds

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As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Zagrebacki suncani krovovi/Zagreb solar panels company would be in charge of carrying out a large energy project of the same name, which aims to start the mass Zagreb solar panel installation on the city’s public buildings. The move should ultimately, according to the announcement of Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic, bring 80 percent savings compared to the current costs for electricity energy and reduce CO2 emissions by the same impressive percentage.

The decision to establish a new city company was made at a recently held City Assembly. The company will have no employees, and it will manage investments of more than 300 million kuna. The project was presented at the end of last year when the Croatian Parliament adopted a programme entitled “Integrated solar power plants on public buildings, multi-apartment buildings and family houses and commercial buildings in the Zagreb area for the period from 2022 – 2024”.

As explained by Zorislav Antun Petrovic, chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee of the Zagreb City Assembly, the goal of the programme is to increase the use of renewable energy sources while promoting the use of solar energy in public, private and commercial facilities across the capital city.

“The programme will enable the coordinated preparation and construction of integrated solar power panels on the roofs of existing buildings with the ultimate goal of providing electricity from renewable sources. The construction of solar power plants will make it possible to reduce operating costs, create the proper prerequisites for the decarbonisation of the buildings themselves, achieve energy and climate goals, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the share of renewable energy sources,” explained Antun Petrovic.

The City Office for Economy, Environmental Sustainability and Strategic Planning, as well as the Regional Energy Agency of Northwest Croatia – REGEA, are both responsible for the operational implementation and management of the programme. The City of Zagreb noted that REGEA itself, as a non-profit institution, is neither registered nor authorised to perform the production or sale/supply of electricity. Therefore, for the purpose of implementing the investment part of the programme, i.e. mass Zagreb solar panel installation on the roofs of buildings, a trading company has been established with the aim of the efficient and timely preparation and implementation of the investments themselves: from design, securing financing to construction and management.

A detailed analysis of 567 of Zagreb’s public buildings, excluding buildings owned by Zagreb/Zagrebacki holding, was carried out, and conceptual projects and requests for obtaining power consent for the first 150 were prepared. This is a total capacity of more than 10 MW with an investment value of more than 75 million kuna. According to the study presented by REGEA, it is expected that residents of the city could be involved in the extension of this project, and both the volume of the project and the size of the total investment would increase.

“There’s been a successful application to the so-called The Norwegian Fund – a total of seven solar power panels with a power of about 1.3 MW, an investment value of 10 million kuna, with a grant of 85 percent. When preparing the investments themselves, all possible models of implementation will be considered, depending on the specific profile of the roof itself, i.e. the consumption of the specific location, which implies financing through grants from European Union (EU) funds, technical assistance funds from development banks and loans from commercial banks,” they stated from the City of Zagreb.

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