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‘Green Certificates’ Make Solar an Investment Vehicle in Romania

ConergyConergy is building another 2 MW solar power plant in the Romanian region of Slobozia, with demand for renewable energy ramping up in order for energy providers to earn green certificates.

In January, Conergy announced its entry into Romania with a 2.2 MW solar park. The company is now following that with another power plant for a group of local private investors.

Conergy is acting as general contractor on this project and is responsible for the planning and engineering of the park as well as for the construction and the supply of the components. The Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems will produce about 2,700 MWh per year.

The Conergy plant will not rely on any feed-in tariff, but will use a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) under which the energy provider purchases the electricity at a fixed price.

Romania requires energy providers and energy-intensive businesses to obtain 14 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. If they don’t achieve the required quota, the energy providers must purchase “green certificates” at a price of €110 ($144) each to cover the shortfall. And the quota is due to rise by 1 percent year over year, which means that by 2019 the proportion of generated electricity that has to be “green” will be as much as 19.5 percent.

Power plants with a total capacity of up to 10 MW currently receive six certificates for each renewable megawatt hour generated over the subsequent 15 years. As of 2014, the numbers will be reduced to three certificates according to an announcement of the national energy regulation authority (Autoriatea Nationala de Reglementare in domeniul Energiei, ANRE).

The owners of the 2 MW Conergy solar plant will be receiving 16,200 green certificates each year for the annual production of around 2,700 MWh and thus a total of 243,000 over 15 years. When the certificates are traded, the market prices per certificate are fixed until 2025 in a range between € 27 and € 55. Certificates that could not be sold during the course of any one year will be bought up by the national energy regulation authority ANRE at the fixed minimum price. The power plant operators thus sell their electricity and in addition receive income from trading the green certificates, ranging in the case of the 2 MW Conergy plant from € 6.6m to € 13.4m over the period of 15 years.

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