site.btaUPDATED Solar Power Plant Owners to Stage National Protest near Pleven

Solar Power Plant Owners to Stage National Protest near Pleven
Solar Power Plant Owners to Stage National Protest near Pleven
The 123 MW Verila Solar Power Plant was inaugurated at the Village of Krainitsi near Dupnitsa (Southwestern Bulgaria) on June 22, 2023 (BTA Photo/Elitsa Ivanova)

Owners of solar power plants (SPP) will stage a national protest on June 26, blocking the Sofia-Ruse road at the cloverleaf interchange of the Village of Yasen near Pleven for 20 minutes at 9 a.m., BTA learnt from one of the organizers, Velin Bogdanov. Some 1,000 protesters are expected to gather there.

The owners resent the newly introduced Methodology for Determining Balancing Electricity Prices which, in their opinion, has led to exorbitant prices for balancing energy and dooms to bankruptcy the renewable energy sources sectors, endangers the financial security of the market and the security of the entire energy system.

"The new balancing fee is almost as high as the price of the electricity produced and even exceeds it. For example, we invoice electricity at BGN 100/MWh and are invoiced between BGN 90 and BGN 105/MWh for balancing. In some cases we even have to make up the difference," Bogdanov commented. 

"The problem is in the new methodology for calculating the imbalance, issued by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) and in force for one month now. We want reimbursement of the amounts paid during that period," Bogdanov. "Quite a few people have taken out loans to build their solar power plants and are now unable to service these debts," he added. 

In his words, a large part of the SPP owners are facing bankruptcy.

SPP owners from around the country are expected to join the protest which is being organized on Facebook. Unless their grievances are heard, they are ready to vent their discontent in front of the EWRC. Wind power plant owners have also expressed their support.

The SPP owners have drawn up a complaint, insisting that the Energy Minister, the EWRC, the parliamentary Energy Committee and the Electricity System Operator to address the situation urgently.

In an open letter issued on June 14, the Free Energy Market Association and the Association of Traders with Energy in Bulgaria pointed out that the prices for balancing electricity for May reached BGN 2,684.50/MWh for surplus and BGN 6,342/MWh for deficit. The associations specified that, according to final prices for balancing electricity for the period from May 1 to 31, 2024, published by the independent transmission operator on June 12, these prices were probably calculated in line with the Methodology for Determining Balancing Electricity Prices as recently adopted by the EWRC, in force since May 1, 2024. The electricity traders warned about bankruptcies in the sector and problems with the financial security of the energy market owing to a drastic rise of costs as a result of what they called "extreme prices for balancing energy in May". 

Approached by BTA for comment on the two associations' allegations that the exorbitant prices for balancing energy in May were probably calculated according to the EWRC's recently adopted Methodology, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission said that it needs time to analyze a huge amount of data before it can come up with an opinion.  

Last week the EWRC reported that it was analyzing possible options to address the situation with the extremely high prices on the balancing electricity market. The Commission specified that it will adopt and issue a decision before the end of this week to allocate more fairly the balancing electricity costs among all participants in the market.

/MR/

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By 18:14 on 22.07.2024 Today`s news

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