Enefit Green opens a unique solar power plant in Estonia mine
Today, Enefit Green opened a solar power plant on the industrial site of the Estonia mine in Ida-Viru County. The company invested nearly €2.7 million in the construction of the solar park.
The Estonia mine’s solar power plant is unique precisely because of its location, as it is the first solar park in Estonia to be located on a 27-metre-high gangue structure. This will reduce losses due to shades and thus make electricity generation more efficient. The 3 megawatt solar farm started generating electricity at the end of October.
According to Aavo Kärmas, Chairman of the Management Board of Enefit Green, the company is rapidly expanding their share of solar energy. ‘The Estonia mine solar power plant is already the second one we are opening in Ida-Viru County this year. In the summer, we opened the Purtse Hybrid Park, where in addition to five wind turbines a 32-megawatt solar farm produces green electricity. With the completion of these two solar farms, we have more than doubled our solar capacity in Estonia in a year,’ Kärmas said.
Enefit Green made the decision to invest in the solar park at the end of last year, and construction of the park started at the end of this April.
Previously mined sites, as well as other low-value land, are very suitable for solar parks. The development of renewable energy at a industrial site serves a number of environmentally friendly purposes. On the one hand, it finds a use for the gangue derived from the extraction process as a building material and, on the other hand, the mine is supplied with green energy.
The electricity produced by the Estonia mine solar power plant will be used to supply the Estonia mine, owned by Enefit Power, which is expected to consume most of the electricity produced for its own use.
‘The solar park on the territory of the Estonia mine is connected to the grid and we can already use solar energy at the mine. If weather conditions are favourable, the electricity generated by the solar park is sufficient to provide ventilation and water pumping in the mine. Ventilation and water evacuation are essential processes that need to be carried out 24/7. The solar park is a good example of refining an existing resource, ie gangue, and adding value to an industrial site,’ said Andres Vainola, Chairman of the Management Board of Enefit Power.
This is the second solar farm that Enefit Green has built on an industrial site. In May 2019, the Laaskõrve solar farm was completed near Kohtla-Nõmme in Ida-Viru County.
Enefit Green is currently building five wind farms and five solar farms in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland with a total capacity of 625 MW. These investments amount to a total of nearly €790 million.