Country's largest solar plant now operational
Slovenia's largest solar power plant has been launched. Built for €5.5 million adjacent to the Brežice hydropower plant, it has a peak power of 6 MW, enough to meet the electricity needs of about 1,800 households.
What makes it special alongside its size is that it is connected directly to the 110 kilovolt transmission network and forms a hybrid system with the hydropower plant.
The hydropower plant's run-of-river reservoir acts as energy storage. On sunny days when the solar plant's production rises, part of the unused water can be stored and used at night or when solar plant production is lower.
This is the most effective use of different renewables, according to Bogdan Barbič, the director of the company that runs the chain of hydro plants on the lower Sava.
The project to construct the plant, whose 13,200 panels span across six hectares, began in August 2021, while construction work started in May 2022. The plant was launched for trial operation in December 2022 and received an operating permit this month.
Solar plants are at the core of Slovenia's short-term energy development, said Environment Minister Bojan Kumer at the opening of the plant on 21 June, noting that Slovenia will have to catch up what it missed in the past decade.
The minister said that the Brežice solar plant is a good step in that direction, representing around one percent of what the state wants to do in the next ten years when it comes to large solar arrays.